22-07-2024 10:37 PM Jerusalem Timing

First Parliamentary Vote Fails to Elect New President for Lebanon

First Parliamentary Vote Fails to Elect New President for Lebanon

Lebanese parliamentarians failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting on Wednesday, with 124 MPs attending the session out of 128.

Lebanese ParliamentLebanese parliamentarians failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting on Wednesday, with 124 MPs attending the session out of 128.

The session ends up with 52 blank ballots, 48 votes for the candidate Samir Geagea, 16 votes for the candidate Henri Helo, one for the candidate Amin Jmayyel and seven others annulled ballots.

Among the annulled ballots three carried the names of Geagea victims during the Lebanese civil war.

Geagea victims named in the vote were Rashid Karami, former Lebanese PM, Dani Shamoun, head of Ahrar movement, and Jihan Toni Franjieh, son-daughter of the late President Sleiman Franjieh.

It is worth mentioning that the public refusal for Geagea's candidacy was clear in the protests that were held next to the parliament as the protestors chanted slogans against the "criminal Geagea" and considered that it is shameful to hold an election session for the 'traitors'.
 
In Tripoli, a number of protestors also rejected the candidacy of the Samir Geagea and labeled him as a 'criminal'.

Speaker set the second Parliamentary round for next Wednesday, on April 30, 2014.

Geagea falls well short of the required two-thirds majority, which was widely expected and is likely to open up the race to other candidates in a process which politicians have warned could drag on for months.

Parliament must choose a successor to President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year term ends in late May.

If parliament fails to elect a new president in the second session, politicians might look for consensus candidates.

Lebanon's political system divides up political power among its various religious communities, allocating the presidency to Maronite Christians. The speaker of parliament is a Shi'te Muslim and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim.

Lebanese history recalled that Geagea had been in jail for eleven years over his war crimes, including the assassination of former PM Rashid Karami.

He was released due to a public amnesty that terminated his life sentence.

Geagea's record includes the terrorist bombing of Lady of Salvation church. He also played a remarkable role against the Palestinian resistance during the Lebanese civil war, in coordination with the Zionist occupation authorities. One of the massacres he committed was Sabra-Shatila in 1982.