The Lebanese parliament on Thursday failed to elect a new president for Lebanon to replace incumbent President Michel Aoun when his term ends on Oct. 31.

The first round of voting was attended by 122 parliament members, with 36 votes for Michel Mouawad, 11 for Salim Edde, 63 blank votes, and 12 uncounted votes.

A second round didn’t take place because the session lost the quorum.

Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri said he would call for another session once a consensus is reached on a presidential candidate.

Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis, and the election of a new president provides an opportunity to adjust the country’s situation for the next six years and set the country on the path to recovery.

The election rules mean no one party or alliance can impose their choice, requiring a two-thirds quorum in the politically fractured parliament.

The presidency has fallen vacant several times since the 1975-90 civil war. Anticipating another vacuum, politicians have stepped up efforts to agree on a new cabinet led by Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Najib Mikati – who is currently serving in a caretaker capacity – to which presidential powers could pass.


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