Presidential election to start on 23rd April
The Speaker of Lebanon’s parliament (Assemblée Nationale; Majlis an-Nuwwab), Nabih Berri, announced yesterday that the election process for a new President would start on 23rd April. The process is likely to take some time to complete in the highly fractured political atmosphere in Lebanon with no candidate expected to get the two-thirds of the 128 MPs votes in the first round.
Incumbent President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term expires on 25th May and, in theory, the election should have been concluded by then.
The process is complicated by the requirements of the power sharing agreement, the Taif Accord (22nd October 1989), which came into force at the end of the 1975-1990 civil war where the President must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of Parliament a Shiite Muslim.
A former militia leader and senior figure in the March 14 Alliance, Samir Geagea, is the only person to have announced his candidacy so far.