Lebanon’s Presidential Election Process, Explained

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The process of electing a president in Lebanon may seem a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you understand the basics. Let’s break it down:

First off, you need to know that the president is elected by the parliament, not by the general public. This is different from some other countries where citizens directly vote for their president.

The election takes place in two rounds:

First Round of Election

In the first round, a candidate needs to win the votes of two-thirds of the parliament to be declared president.

That means, out of the 128 members in the parliament, a candidate must secure at least 86 votes to win outright in the first round.

Second Round of Election

If no candidate gets the necessary votes in the first round, the election proceeds to a second round. In this round, the bar is slightly lower.

A candidate can win with just 65 votes, which is just over half of the parliament members. However, there’s a catch.

Two-thirds of the parliament members (that’s 86 members) need to be present for this vote to take place.

But what if not enough members show up?

Here’s where the process can get a bit tricky.

If a political group senses that their candidate is likely to lose in the second round, they could decide not to attend the vote.

This strategy could deprive the second round of the necessary quorum (the minimum number of members that must be present to make the proceedings of the meeting valid).

If this happens, the round would be inconclusive, and the election would have to be rescheduled.

While the presidential election process in Lebanon involves a bit of strategy and political maneuvering, the core rules are quite simple: win the support of two-thirds of parliament in the first round, or win more than half the votes in the second round, provided enough members are present.

Understanding these rules helps us make sense of the outcomes and the tactics used by different political groups during these crucial elections.

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