BEIRUT, June 2 (PNA/Xinhua) — The Lebanese parliament failed again Thursday in its 40th consecutive session to elect a new president for the lack of the constitutionally required quorum.

Speaker Nabih Berri called for a new session on June 23.

According to the constitution, the required quorum to elect a president is two thirds of the 128-seat parliament, and only 40 MPs were present at Thursday’s session.

Since May 25, 2014, the parliament has failed to convene to elect a new president after the six-year term of former President Michel Suleiman ended, because of the sharp political division among the main two political camps of March 14 and March 8.

The March 8 camp is endorsing the election of head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun for the post, while the March 14 has endorsed the election of the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea before the latter withdrew for the competition and backed Aoun for the post.

This move came following an initiative presented by the leader of Almustaqbal Movement and the March 14 forces former PM Saad Hariri, who named head of the Mrada Movement MP Suleiman Franjieh, a staunch ally of Syria and member of the March 8 camp, to the presidency.

According to the constitution, the cabinet will run the country until the election of a new president who is as stated in the National Pact a Christian Maronite, while the Speaker should be a Muslim Shiite and the premier a Muslim Sunni.

But due to the sharp political divisions, the cabinet work has been hindered as all its decisions should be made by unanimity which is absent most of the times.


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