Lebanon’s parliament fails to elect president for 12th time

Lebanon’s parliament has – for the 12th time – failed to elect a president and break a political deadlock that has gripped the country for months.

Lawmakers held a session on Wednesday to pick a replacement for former President Michel Aoun, whose term ended last October, but disagreements prevented them from reaching the required thresholds.

The main competition was between Jihad Azour, a former finance minister and senior official with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Sleiman Frangieh, leader of the Marada party whose family has a long history in Lebanese politics.

Reporting from Beirut, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr said the Hezbollah alliance walked out just as it did during the previous 11 votes, showcasing how “deeply fractured” the Lebanese parliament has become.

“Hezbollah is insisting that they will not accept the candidate of the opposition, they call him a confrontational candidate.

“But Hezbollah has been criticised for imposing its own candidate, Sleiman Frangieh, a man who doesn’t really have legitimacy among his community, because the post of the president is reserved for a Christian in Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system, and the main Christian parties in Lebanon’s parliament are backing Jihad Azour.”

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