The Lebanese parliament failed again today and for the 43rd time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 , 2014.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president.
Amal Movement leader, Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to September 7, 2016.
“According to the Lebanese constitution the deputies are obliged to attend the election sessions at the parliament. Deputies have no right to absent themselves,” head of Future parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora stressed from the parliament.
On reports that the bloc had voted a day earlier on adopting the nomination of Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun, Siniora reiterated his bloc’s support for Marada Movement MP Suleiman Franjieh, he said: “The bloc did not vote on the nomination of Aoun. Each member gave his own opinion and we decide to adhere to Franjieh’s nomination.”
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea who was the first to announce his presidential bid and who later decided to back Aoun in order to end the impasse , said after the failed election.
” Neither Hezbollah nor Iran want a president , not even Aoun despite the fact that the FPM founder has the votes to guarantee his election.”
Iran’s influence in Lebanon is at odds with all the countries supporting opposing political camps.
Rival leaders met for three sessions on Aug. 2-4, in an attempt to reach a deal over the election of a president but they failed
Prime Minister Tammam Salam urged the Christian leaders on Monday to name a new candidate as head of state, in order to “spare the country of danger,” An Nahar daily reported.
Salam pointed out to the 1976 presidential elections when none of the three candidates that were running for the presidential race ( including Camille Chamoun, Raymond Edde and Pierre Gemayel), garnered the consensus of political parties.
They decided to support a fourth candidate, Elias Sarkis, “which was a relief for the country,” said Salam.