Lebanese parliament fails to elect new president

 The Lebanese parliament failed to elect a new head of state on Thursday to replace President Michel Aoun when his term ends on Oct. 31.

The bulk of votes cast by lawmakers at Thursday’s session — 63 — were blank. Christian politician Michel Moawad won the backing of 36 of 122 lawmakers who attended. 11 votes cast were for the businessman Salim Edde and another 10 votes were for “Lebanon”.

Unless a consensus emerges on a candidate, the presidency looks set to fall vacant when Aoun’s term ends, at a time of deep financial crisis. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said he would call another session when consensus emerged on a candidate.

Image Credit: Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS