39 MPs voted with a white paper, while MP Michel Moawad, supported by Lebanese forces led by Samir Geagea and other blocs, including Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s bloc, got 39 votes. Large blocs, including Hezbollah, the most important political and military force, oppose Moawad, known for his closeness to the Americans, and describe him as a “challenging” candidate, asking for an advance agreement on a candidate before going in parliament to elect him. Former minister and MP Suleiman Franjieh is considered Hezbollah’s ideal candidate, according to figures close to the party. However, despite his alliance with Hezbollah, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Representative Gebran Bassil, son-in-law of former President Michel Aoun and himself a presidential hopeful, has declared his opposition to Franjieh.
Political circles are increasingly discussing the name of army commander Joseph Aoun, whose position does not allow him to take political positions, as president of the settlement, although his election requires a constitutional amendment in how much is a first-class employee who cannot be elected until two years after resignation or retirement. The system of agreements and quotas between political and sectarian forces usually delays important decisions, including the formation of a government or the election of a president. The fact that Parliament has not elected a president so far indicates that the electoral process could take a long time, in a country in which constitutional terms are rarely respected. “Holding a session every week won’t change anything,” Alain Aoun, a representative of the Free Patriotic Movement, told local channels before entering the session.
During the session, deputies placed ballot papers deemed invalid, one of which bore the name of South African leader Nelson Mandela. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who has called for dialogue to agree on a candidate’s name, has set a date for a new session next Thursday. No political party has a parliamentary majority to impose its candidate.
The presidential void coincides with the existence of a provisional government led by Najib Mikati which is not in able to make the necessary decisions, e in one moment in which Lebanon has witnessed an economic collapse since 2019, which the World Bank has ranked among the worst in the world since 1850. A government meeting to discuss pressing issues three days ago has ignited tension between Hezbollah, whose ministers attended at the session, and the Free Patriotic Movement, which opposes government meetings and its assumption of the powers of the presidency during the vacuum period.
You must log in to post a comment.