Lebanon’s parliament failed Thursday for a third time to elect a successor to President Michel Aoun, stoking fears of a political vacuum after his mandate expires at the end of the month.
In a first round, fifty-five MPs cast blank votes and MP Michel Mouawad, son of former president Rene Moawad, received 42 votes. 21 ballots were annulled.
But the 42 votes Moawad received in Thursday’s session fell well short of the 65 needed for election in the second round of voting.
A total of 119 lawmakers from the 128-seat parliament attended the session, but quorum was lost before a second round could be held.
Parliament speaker Nabih Berri called for another vote on Monday, October 24, in the hope of overcoming long-running discord between political factions in crisis-hit Lebanon, already governed by a caretaker cabinet.
Aoun was elected in 2016 after a more than two-year vacancy at the presidential palace as lawmakers made 45 failed attempts to reach consensus on a candidate.