There’ll Be Another Session To Elect A President In Lebanon Next Week


On Monday, Nabih Berri, the Speaker of Parliament, declared a presidential election session for June 14.

This announcement came just a day after the opposition confirmed their support for Jihad Azour, the former minister, as their presidential candidate.

This marks the 12th attempt by parliament to appoint a new president, following 11 unsuccessful sessions. The most recent of these took place on January 19.

Berri has planned the 12th session for 11 am on Wednesday, June 14, according to a statement he released.

Berri had previously stated his intention to call for a session as soon as the opposition nominated a serious candidate.

The term of the previous president, Michel Aoun, ended in October of last year, leaving the country without a head of state for seven months.

Lebanon, in the midst of a crisis, has been governed by a caretaker government with limited powers since the legislative elections in May 2022. These elections failed to produce a majority for any one party.

Mark Daou, a ‘Change’ MP, read a statement endorsing Azour on behalf of a group of 32 opposition legislators on Sunday. The statement described Azour as a candidate who does not provoke any political faction in the country.

These same MPs had previously shown their support for Michel Mouawad, another presidential candidate. Mouawad announced his withdrawal and endorsement of Azour on Sunday.

Azour, who currently serves as the director of the Middle East and Central Asia at the IMF, was Lebanon’s finance minister from 2005 to 2008. However, he has not yet officially declared his intention to run for the presidency.

Officials in Lebanon have been urged by the international community to fill the presidential vacancy, enabling the country, which has been grappling with a severe economic crisis since 2019, to implement the necessary reforms to secure vital IMF loans.

Hezbollah, a significant political force in Lebanon, has shown its support for pro-Syria Sleiman Franjieh for the presidency. All of Hezbollah’s allies, with the exception of the Free Patriotic Movement, have also expressed their support for Franjieh.

Azour’s nomination was dismissed as a “waste of time” by Hassan Fadlallah, a Hezbollah legislator. He insisted that “the candidate of confrontation” would not be elected as president. The Free Patriotic Movement, on the other hand, stated their support for Azour.

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