Lebanon’s parliament fails to elect a new president

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The Lebanese parliament failed to elect a new president for the country on Thursday, amid a lack of consensus on the name of a successor to current President Michel Aoun, despite an unprecedented economic crisis plaguing the country.

The tenure of 88-year-old Aoun, which lasted more than six years, will expire on October 31.

There are deep divisions among members of the House of Representatives, raising fears of a vacuum in the presidency.
In October 2016, Aoun was elected president after a presidential vacancy that lasted more than two years.
Under Lebanon’s sectarian political system, the president must be a Maronite Christian.

According to the official National News Agency, there was a quorum in Thursday’s session, with 104 of 128 delegates.

However, none of the candidates obtained the required majority during this session.

In the first ballot, the candidate must obtain a two-thirds majority or 86 votes to win.
In a second round, the required majority is 65 votes.

Since 2019, Lebanon has witnessed an economic collapse that the World Bank has ranked among the worst in the world, with the local currency losing about 95 percent of its value, while the official exchange rate is still fixed at 1,507 pounds against the dollar.

The crisis is accompanied by political paralysis that prevents measures to be taken to limit the decline and improve the quality of life of the population, more than 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line.

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