Lebanon MPs fail to elect president for 4th time

By Gad Yateem, Thursday, May 15, 2014

For the fourth time in a row, Lebanese MPs on Thursday failed to elect a new president to succeed Michel Suleiman

For the fourth time in a row, Lebanese MPs on Thursday failed to elect a new president to succeed Michel Suleiman

BEIRUT – For the fourth time in a row, Lebanese MPs on Thursday failed to elect a new president to succeed Michel Suleiman due to boycotts that prevented the assembly from reaching a required two-thirds quorum.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has scheduled another parliamentary session on May 22 in which a fifth attempt to choose a president will be made.

Suleiman's presidential term is set to expire on May 25.

Only 73 of the assembly's 128 members attended Thursday's parliamentary session, falling short of the quorum by 13 MPs.

Over the past three weeks, parliament has been unable to complete the process of choosing a new president from between Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and MP Henri Helou.

The parliamentary vote comes as the three-year conflict in next-door Syria continues to fuel sectarian tension inside Lebanon, with Hezbollah's ongoing military involvement in Syria drawing condemnation from local Sunni groups.

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