Presidential vote goes to 30th April
Lebanon’s parliament failed to elect a president, as expected, when it met today. Of the 128 parliamentarians, 124 were present at the start of the session, but a two thirds majority (86 votes) was needed for a successful election to take place.
The leading candidate, Samir Geagea of the Lebanese Forces Party (part of the March 14 Alliance) took 48 votes and there were 52 blank ballot papers. Henry Helou of Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) received 16 votes and former president (1982 – 1988) Amine Gemayel of the Kataeb Party (Lebanese Phalanges Party – also part of the March 14 Alliance) had one vote. There were seven void ballots.
The next session where a simple majority is required will take place on 30th April according to The Daily Star. There is no requirement for the same candidates to run in the next round and a completely new name might appear in the next round. President Michel Sleiman’s six-year term ends on 25th May 2014.