MPs Fail Anew to Elect President as LF Urges Voting for Aoun or Passing New Electoral Law

The parliamentary blocs failed again on Thursday to elect a new president for the republic due to a recurring lack of quorum, as the Lebanese Forces called for electing Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun as president or passing a new electoral law for the parliamentary polls as a way out of the country's political crisis.

Speaker Nabih Berri has scheduled a new electoral session for Wednesday, July 13.

“All parties agree that the financial and economic risks are increasing as time passes and that we can longer wait,” LF deputy chief MP George Adwan said after a meeting in parliament with al-Mustaqbal bloc chief MP Fouad Saniora and MP Ali Bazzi of Berri's bloc.

“As Lebanese, we must find the solutions ourselves,” Adwan added.

“To reach a solution, we must either launch a dialogue between al-Mustaqbal movement and General Michel Aoun or seriously mull Speaker Nabih Berri's initiative on the speedy approval of a new electoral law before the election of a new president,” he suggested.

MP Ahmed Fatfat meanwhile categorically rejected calls for forging a so-called Doha Accord-like settlement, stressing that the solution lies in the parliament's election of a new president.

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel for his part warned that “Lebanon has become an undemocratic country.”

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, the FPM and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

More than 40 electoral sessions have been adjourned due to lack of quorum since 2014.

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri launched late an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.

Hariri's move was followed by LF chief Samir Geagea's endorsement of his long-time Christian foe Aoun for the presidency after a rapprochement deal was reached between their two parties.


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