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Blank ballot wins Lebanese presidential election

Parliament failed to decide on the choice of the President of the country

Parliament failed to decide on the choice of the President of the country

A photo: REUTERS

Lebanon’s first attempt to elect a new head of state ended a resounding failure: after the votes were counted, it turned out that the majority of deputies could not make a choice.

In total, 122 MPs took part in the voting for the candidacy of the new president, but most of them put an empty ballot in the envelope. 36 deputies voted for Michel Moawad, 11 voted in favor of Salim Edde, but this number is not enough to appoint a president.

Thus, to date, the duties of the President of Lebanon continue to be performed by Michel Naim Aoun, who lost his right to be elected, since he had already been at the helm of the country for six years.

Lebanon has a fairly complex electoral system, tied to the affiliation of candidates to a particular religious denomination. Thus, only a Maronite Christian can be the president of the country, while the prime minister and the speaker of parliament must be Muslims. Moreover, the first must necessarily refer to the Sunnis, and the second to the Shiites.

Of the 128 members of parliament, 64 must be Muslims, the rest must be Christians.

On the one hand, such a system largely determines the preferences of ordinary voters who vote exclusively for representatives of their religion, on the other hand, it greatly complicates the appointment of the first persons of the state.

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