After President Michel Aoun’s tenure ended on October 31, the Lebanese parliament again failed to choose a new leader for the republic.
39 deputies voted for Michel Moawad, receiving 39 votes for the white paper (a blank ballot), and 9 votes for the “New Lebanon.”
Badri Daher and Essam Khalifa each garnered five votes, while Ziad Baroud, “For Lebanon,” Salah Hanin, Moawad Badri Daher, and Fawzi Abu Melhab each received three votes. The number of papers that were canceled reached 4.
Since the president is often chosen after the major blocs agree on a candidate’s name, the failure of Parliament is explained by the stark divides that are evident in the lack of agreement on President Aoun’s replacement.
According to the Lebanese constitution, a quorum of 86 deputies must be present in order to vote for the president; in the first round, he must receive 65 votes to be declared victorious, and in the second round, he must receive an absolute majority.
Michel Moawad received 37 votes during the last session, which was held on December 1st, while the white paper received 52 votes overall.
On November 24, at the seventh session, the “white paper” received 50 votes, placing it first, followed by Representative Michel Moawad with 43 votes and New Lebanon with 8.
The presidential seat fell empty on November 17, making it impossible for the Lebanese parliament representatives to pick a president for the nation for the sixth time. Representative Michel Moawad received 43 votes, while the “White Paper” received 46. “New Lebanon” received 9 votes from the Council members, while contender Issam Khalifa received 7 votes, while Ziyad Baroud got 3 votes, and one vote for each of Suleiman. Franjieh and Michel Daher, while two votes were cancelled.
In the session on November 10, representatives failed to elect a president for the nation for the sixth time in a row. Nabih Berri said on October 24 that the parliament had failed to elect a president for the fourth time because 50 deputies had voted for a “white paper” as opposed to 39 for Michel Moawad.
While 10 deputies voted for candidate Issam Khalifa, two ballots were thrown out, and 13 deputies opted to cast their votes on ballots with the words “New Lebanon.”
On October 20, the Lebanese parliament also failed to pick the country’s leader when 55 members voted for a “white paper” while 44 members supported Moawad, and 17 members opted to support a “New Lebanon” paper. One deputy cast a yes vote of Milad Boumelhab, and 4 papers were cancelled. And in the third session to elect a President of the Republic in the Lebanese Parliament.
The Free Patriotic Movement, the party of outgoing President Michel Aoun, boycotted the session on October 13 because it fell on the anniversary of Aoun’s departure from the presidential palace after a Syrian attack in the final year of the civil war (1975–1990), a memory resurrected by the movement every year. Only 71 of the 128 members of the Lebanese Parliament showed up for the session.
In the session on September 29, the parliament also failed to elect a president since no candidate was able to get the support of two-thirds of the 120 members present.
Following the tabulation of the votes in that session, the Speaker of the Parliament announced the counting of 63 white papers, 36 votes for Representative Michel Moawad, and 11 votes for Salim Eddeh. Ten ballot papers bearing the word “Lebanon,” as well as two bearing the names Mahsa Amini (the young woman who died in Iran after being imprisoned by the morality police) and Nahj Rashid Karami, were also included in the totals.