Lebanon fails to elect new president again

August 13, 2014 - 1:43:42 am

BEIRUT: Lebanese lawmakers botched a 10th attempt yesterday to elect a new president, reflecting lack of agreement on a consensus candidate. 

Lack of quorum, as in all previous sessions, prompted parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to postpone voting to September 2.

It was the same scenario at the previous sessions in parliament, only this time a fewer MPs appeared for the vote.

Nearly 30 minutes after the voting session was scheduled to begin, there were only 57 MPs in parliament. And as before, Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam did not show up.

The Future Movement-led March 14 coalition blamed the persistent boycott of parliament by Hezbollah-led March 8 lawmakers for the presidential stalemate that has paralysed legislation and is threatening to cripple work of the government.

MPs from Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc, along with Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have thwarted quorum by boycotting the sessions, arguing that a deal must be struck with their March 14 rivals on a consensus candidate.

Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad reiterated the March 8 demand for the deal.