Lebanese MPs fail to elect a president for 12th time

BEIRUT — The Lebanese parliament failed to elect a president on Wednesday at its 12th time, since the position became vacant late last year.

Former regional director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Jihad Azour received 59 votes against 51 votes for Marada party leader Suleiman Franjieh, while former Interior Minister Ziad Baroud got 6 votes.

The Shiite Amal Movement and Hezbollah, as well as their allies withdrew, after the opposition MPs demanded re-counting and voting in a second round. The Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri decided to adjourn the session due to lack of a full quorum.

The Strong Republic Bloc member Sethrida Geagea stated that today’s session is unconstitutional due to incorrect counting of votes.

“The votes need to be recounted,” she added.

President of the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) Ibrahim Mrad via Facebook stated that, “Wednesday’s session is nothing but a rehearsal, after which the papers will be shuffled again, and the disruption will continue.”

Mrad added that if a president is elected later, he will not be able to rule the state under a militia that controls the state decisions, because the militia uses the central state for its treasury and strategic project.

In a statement, Azour thanked all the MPs who voted for him, hoping to get Lebanon out of its crisis, by respecting what was expressed by the majority of the MPs.