Al-Rahi Supports Baroud's Candidacy for Presidency

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi backs the candidacy of former Interior Minister Ziad Baroud for the presidency, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the daily, al-Rahi informed officials ahead of his trip to the Vatican last week that he adopts Baroud's candidacy based on surveys carried out by Bkirki.

A second round will be held on Wednesday to elect a new head of state amid reports saying that the lawmakers from the March 8 alliance will fail to attend the session, leading to a lack quorum.

Lawmakers failed last week to elect a new president as no candidate was able to garner the needed two-thirds of votes of the 128-member parliament to become Lebanon's next head of state.

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea received the votes of only 48 MPs while 16 lawmakers voted for Aley lawmaker Henri Helou, one for Kataeb party chief ex-President Amin Gemayel and 52 MPs from the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance cast blank ballots.

The majority of March 8 alliance MPs withdrew from the session after the vote, resulting in lack of quorum.



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