Lebanese parliament fails again to elect a president

The term of current Lebanese President Michel Aoun ends on October 31.

 Lawmakers gather in parliament in Beirut, Lebanon October 13, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)
Lawmakers gather in parliament in Beirut, Lebanon October 13, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)

The Lebanese parliament failed again to elect a new president during a vote on Thursday after a series of failed attempts in recent weeks.

Michel Moawad, an independent Lebanese politician opposed to Hezbollah, received 42 votes, 55 MPs voted with a blank slip, one MP voted for Milad Abou Malhab and 17 MPs submitted ballots reading "New Lebanon." In the last attempted vote, 63 MPs cast blank ballots, while Moawad received 36 votes and Salim Eddeh received 11 votes.

House Speaker, Nabih Berri, scheduled a new session to elect a president for October 24 at 11 a.m.

The term of current Lebanese President Michel Aoun ends on October 31. It is unclear what will happen if a new president is not elected by then.

 Lebanese MP Michel Moawad casts his vote during the first session to elect a new president at the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon September 29, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR) Lebanese MP Michel Moawad casts his vote during the first session to elect a new president at the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon September 29, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)

Hezbollah warns against electing president 'dependent' on US

Last month, the head of Hezbollah's executive council, Hashem Safi al-Din, warned that the terrorist movement would not allow the election of a Lebanese president who is "dependent" on the US, according to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV.

Din stated some Lebanese "make the mistake of seeking to secure America's interests" in elections or the plan to bring Lebanon out of its current crisis. The Hezbollah official warned that Hezbollah "will not allow and will not accept" the election of a Lebanese president who will follow and depend on the US.

Moawad, the current leading candidate, is the son of former Lebanese president Rene Moawad, who was killed in November 1989 just a few weeks after taking office. According to Lebanese newspaper L'Orient Le Jour, he has strong ties with the US and has hosted a number of US officials in Lebanon, including then US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in March 2019.

It is unclear if Din was referring to Moawad when he mentioned a candidate who "follows the US." The murder of Moawad's father was largely blamed on Syria.