Lebanese lawmakers postpone presidential election
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says the country’s presidential election has been postponed for the 33rd consecutive time and is expected to be held next month.
Berri said the presidential vote was postponed until January 7, 2016 after the required number of lawmakers failed to show up for a parliamentary session on Wednesday.
Only 45 lawmakers participated in the session, a figure less than the two thirds of the total of 128 lawmakers needed to be present in order for a new president to be elected for the country.
Lawmakers have failed to select a new leader since May 2014, following the end of former President Michel Sleiman’s term. Back then, the first parliament session achieved quorum, but no candidate managed to win enough votes.
Since last May, lawmakers from a number of different political parties have prevented the election by boycotting parliamentary sessions. The power vacuum, which has left the cabinet and parliament paralyzed, is considered the longest since 1990, which marked the end of Lebanon’s civil war.
Under Lebanon’s power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.