Lebanon: Parliament adjourns presidential vote

Beirut, 25 Sept. (AKI) - The Lebanese parliament on Tuesday adjourned a session to elect a new president, after the pro-Syrian opposition stayed away, leaving the session without a quorum.

The session was adjourned to October 23 due to the lack of a two-thirds quorum, Nabih Berri, the parliamentary speaker, said in a statement.

A two-thirds majority is required in the first round of voting but in the event of a second round, a simple majority is sufficient.

Emile Lahoud, the current president, is due to end his term on November 23.

The opposition wants a deal on a consensus candidate to secure the attendance of its MPs.

On Monday Berri indicated he was confident that a consensus president would be elected before November 24.

"The big loss for all the Lebanese, the slaying of MP Antoine Ghanem, has hurt us all, but it has also pushed us to remain tough and support one another to arrive at a solution that pleases everyone," said Berri, referring to the anti-Syrian politician assassinated last week.


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