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LEBANESE PRESIDENCY

New presidential election session before mid-October, Berri announces

New presidential election session before mid-October, Berri announces

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the first parliamentary session dedicated to the presidential election in Beirut on Sept. 29, 2022. (Credit: Ibrahim Amro/AFP)

BEIRUT — MPs will be called to a second election session to designate a new president of Lebanon before mid-October, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said during remarks published Monday on Annahar, urging parliamentarians to "take their responsibilities" in preparation for this deadline.

In the midst of an economic crisis, Lebanon must elect a president before the end of the month, as the mandate of the head of state Michel Aoun expires on October 31.

At the end of the first election session last Thursday, no president had been elected by the 122 members present out of the 128 members of the Assembly. Sixty-three MPs cast blank ballots, and Zgharta MP Michel Moawad received the most votes with 36 ballors while Murex co-founder and L’Orient-Le Jour shareholder Salim Eddé received the second most votes.

During his remarks, Berri said he will convene an election session "before mid-October, calling on everyone to "take responsibility for this deadline." The Parliament speaker also reiterated his calling for consensus, underlining that "an agreement is not the same as obtaining the consent of the 128 deputies." Last Thursday, he said that he would convene a new meeting only when a consensus is found.

While Berri's Amal movement voted blank in the first session, as well as Hezbollah and its allies, the head of Parliament recalled that the blank vote "has always been used since 1943 and this is a right of MPs." However, he did not answer the question of whether he and his group intended to vote blank again.

Nabih Berri also called on the MPs to "remember the validity of the quorum of 86 deputies to hold the electoral session," while last Thursday some deputies left the session after the counting of the first round, causing a lack of quorum and preventing the holding of a second round. This quorum of 86 deputies is not mentioned in the Constitution but has been adopted in practice since 1982.


BEIRUT — MPs will be called to a second election session to designate a new president of Lebanon before mid-October, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said during remarks published Monday on Annahar, urging parliamentarians to "take their responsibilities" in preparation for this deadline.In the midst of an economic crisis, Lebanon must elect a president before the end of the month, as the...