Lebanon: ninth parliamentary session without election of a head of state

Michel Moawad (our illustration photo), son of former President René Moawad who was assassinated in 1989, is considered close to the United States, and Hezbollah opposes his candidacy.


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This Thursday, December 8, Lebanese deputies held a ninth session without managing to elect a head of state as the political crisis escalates in the country, without a president for more than a month, but also in full economic collapse. .


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The meeting of Lebanon's deeply divided parliament failing to agree on a successor to Michel Aoun, whose term expired on October 31, 2022, comes three days after a meeting of the resigning government which heightened political tensions in the within the country.

The candidate of the camp opposed to the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah, Michel Moawad, obtained only 39 votes, far from the 86 necessary to be elected in the first round or the 65 votes required in a second round.

Fancy names

Mr. Moawad, son of former President Rene Moawad who was assassinated in 1989, is considered close to the United States, and Hezbollah opposes his candidacy, but has not announced who its candidate is.

Thirty-nine deputies, notably from the pro-Hezbollah camp, voted blank.

Other parliamentarians wrote slogans or fanciful names on their ballot papers, such as that of former South African President Nelson Mandela, an icon of the fight against apartheid.

Parliament has met nine times since the end of September, without success.

The date of the next meeting has been set for December 15.

Electing a president could take months, as happened when Michel Aoun was elected in 2016, after a 29-month vacancy at the top of the state.

Under the denominational power-sharing system in force, the presidency of the Republic is reserved for a Maronite Christian.

Since November 1, the country has also been led by a resigning government, responsible only for running day-to-day business.

Anger of Michel Aoun's party

The holding on Monday, for the first since the end of Michel Aoun's term, of a Council of Ministers provoked the anger of the party of the outgoing president, the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL, Christian), which criticized its unwavering ally, the Shiite Hezbollah.

CPL leader Gebran Bassil accused the Prime Minister, Sunni Muslim billionaire Nagib Mikati, of arrogating the powers of the head of state and his ministers boycotted the session, unlike those of Hezbollah.

Since the end of 2019, the Lebanese economy has been in full collapse and the authorities have still not reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get the country out of the crisis.


with AFP


►Also read: Lebanon: end of Aoun's mandate, marked by political and economic turbulence


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  • Lebanon

  • Michael Aoun

  • Economic crisis