BEIRUT — Forces of Change MPs announced Monday that they will continue their parliamentary strike to pressure MPs to elect a new president.
In a press conference, MP Melhem Khalaf said "no one can solve the people's problems as long as there is not a full government, no president and no parliament, that can legislate."
In the event of a presidential vacancy, the constitution stipulates that Parliament can convene only to hold presidential election sessions. However, previous Parliaments have met to legislate during a presidential vacancy,
"Our only mission is to elect a new president. This will happen when political life is regulated, a government is formed and people's pain is dealt with," Khalaf added. "There is a national and constitutional duty. The important thing is to reach a conclusion and speed up the presidential election process."
MP Ibrahim Mneimneh said, "this strike created a new dynamic, and showed that there are those who want to go through a constitutional mechanism to complete this challenge [of a presidential election]."
For the first time in its history, Lebanon is experiencing a double executive vacancy. The country has been without a president since Oct. 31, when Michel Aoun's term ended. A caretaker cabinet has been handling government affairs since the spring of 2022.
Parliament has held 11 failed presidential election sessions since the end of Aoun's term, but has not met since Forces of Change MPs announced their strike.