Lebanon fails to elect new president as political crisis deepens

Lebanon’s parliament failed to elect a new president after a first round of voting Thursday amid deep divisions over a replacement for Michel Aoun whose term expires next month.

A majority of lawmakers cast blank ballots, suggesting the election process is likely to drag on, an outcome Lebanon can ill afford as it wrestles with a crippling financial crisis.

Speaker Nabih Berri said he would call a new session of parliament “when an agreement is reached on the next president” — a process that could take months in a country where constitutional deadlines are routinely missed.

Thursday’s session was attended by 122 of parliament’s 128 members, of whom 66 cast blank ballots.

Christian politician Michel Moawad, the son of former president Rene Moawad, emerged as the front-runner but his 36…

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News Source: www.al-monitor.com

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