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Brunei
Friday, December 2, 2022
24 C
Brunei
Friday, December 2, 2022
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    Lebanon lawmakers fail to name president for fourth time

    BEIRUT (AFP) – Lebanon’s parliament failed yesterday for a fourth time to elect a successor to President Michel Aoun, with lawmakers divided over a candidate opposed by the powerful Hezbollah movement.

    Already governed by a caretaker Cabinet, crisis-hit Lebanon is hurtling towards an imminent power vacuum, with just days before the current president’s term finishes at the end of the month.

    Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called for another vote on Thursday in the hope of overcoming long-running arguments.

    A total of 50 lawmakers in Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament left their votes blank, many from the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies.

    Their rivals mostly backed lawmaker Michel Moawad, whose father Rene Moawad was a former president.

    He has emerged as a frontrunner since Parliament first met to name a president last month.

    The Lebanese Parliament convened for the 4th session to elect a new President in Beirut. PHOTO: AFP

    But Moawad, who won 39 votes yesterday, was still was far short the 86 ballots needed – two-thirds of seats – to win.

    University professor and activist Issam Khalife took 10 votes, cast by independent lawmakers who emerged from a mass 2019 anti-government protest movement, as well as others.

    But the required quorum was lost before a second round could be held, after some lawmakers walked out – a recurring scenario in past votes.

    Moawad’s supporters accused Hezbollah and its allies of obstructing a second round of voting to negotiate with other blocs, effectively preventing the election.

    “No bloc in Parliament can impose a president, not Hezbollah nor anyone else,” said Elias Hankash, a lawmaker from the Kataeb Party that supports Moawad.

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