Suleiman Demands Altering Quorum for Presidential Elections after Failure of Majority Vote

Former President Michel Suleiman condemned on Saturday the ongoing failure to elect a new president more than a year after his term ended.

He told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3): “We demand the elimination of the two-thirds quorum at parliament to elect a president after we reached a dead end in this matter and none of the candidates garnered a majority of votes.”

In addition, he warned against “describing a strong president as one who only defends his sect.”

“A head of state should represent the whole of Lebanon, Muslims and Christians alike,” Suleiman stressed.

Furthermore, he criticized the proposal made by the Change and Reform bloc over electing a president through a popular vote.

“Such a suggestion cannot be applied now and it manipulates the Taef Accord,” he noted.

The former president then remarked that a new head of state cannot be elected in Lebanon “as long as Hizbullah is involving itself in the war in Syria.”

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when Suleiman's term ended without the election of a successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a rival candidate have thwarted the elections.

Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun had proposed that a new president be elected directly by the people in two phases, first by the Christians, who would eliminate candidates and on a second phase by the Lebanese people.

According to the MP, another solution would be to hold a popular referendum. The candidate who garners most votes would be elected by the parliament as a new president.

The initiative also includes the possibility of electing the Maronite candidate who has the majority of representation at the parliament, while the fourth is staging the parliamentary elections ahead of the presidential polls based on a new electoral law that provides equality between Christians and Muslims.


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