Suleiman Urges MPs to Avert Dangers Posed by Presidential Vacuum

President Michel Suleiman urged the parliament on Friday to act in accordance with the Constitution to avert the dangers that could arise from the failure to elect a new head of state by May 25.

Suleiman made his plea in a message he sent to parliament via Speaker Nabih Berri and in accordance with the authorities given to him by clause 10 of article 53 of the Constitution.

He said the lawmakers should act in conformity with the laws to meet Constitutional deadlines “to avoid the dangers that could result from the failure to elect a president for the Lebanese Republic by May 25.”

Parliament has so far failed to elect a new president over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Most of the March 8 camp's MPs have boycotted four rounds of elections over their call for an agreement on a consensual president and their rejection of the candidacy of their foe Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

A fifth round of polls is scheduled to be held next Thursday, two days before the expiry of Suleiman's six-year tenure.

There are fears that the vacuum in the country's top Christian post would affect Lebanon's power-sharing agreement under which the president should be a Maronite, the premier a Sunni and the speaker a Shiite.



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