Lebanese lawmakers again fail to elect a president

April 22, 2008 14:16

Lebanon's lawmakers on Tuesday failed again to convene in sufficient numbers to elect a president, as the country's divided factions remain at odds over power-sharing in a future government. Parliament has tried 17 times since September to vote in army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman as a consensus president. However opposition lawmakers have been ignoring slated parliament sessions, leaving the 128-seat house without the necessary two-thirds quorum needed for the balloting. The pro-Western government coalition has only a slim majority and needs some opposition lawmakers to show up for the quorum. When it became clear this wouldn't happen, parliament speaker Nabih Berri put off Tuesday's session. Berri did not immediately schedule a new session, as he has done in the past. Instead, he renewed calls for the feuding factions to engage in dialogue on a package that would include power-sharing. If the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority rejects his call, he said he would then set a new session date. "The way for a resolution is only through dialogue," Berri said.

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