Lebanese parliament meets for presidential election

The Lebanese parliament will meet again to try to elect a new president. This is a final offer for

Lebanon’s parliament will try to hold a presidential election today – Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir

The Lebanese parliament will meet again to try to elect a new president.

This is a last ditch attempt to salvage a smooth presidential transition from the looming constitutional crisis caused by the impending end of current President Michel Aoun’s term. This round of elections comes after divided parliamentarians failed to elect a president for the fourth time last Monday.

A political vacuum would weigh heavily on a nation already spiraling downward and torn apart by deep political, social and economic turmoil. In the past three years alone, Lebanon has witnessed mass protests against Aoun’s government, an explosion leaving 300,000 people homeless, and an economic crisis described by the World Bank as one of the more serious since the middle of the 19th century; besides the pandemic.

As one of the main theaters of proxy rivalry and foreign interference in the region, Lebanon could become more vulnerable than ever to civil dissent and armed intervention from Saudi Arabia or Iran. if no changes were made.

The elections may not bring a solution and the interim administration may remain in place in the short or medium term. Violent mass protests will likely follow, further damaging the economy and increasing popular resentment against the political class. Discussions, rather than votes, are likely to bring Najib Mikati to power.

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