On the eve of the presidential election in Lebanon, this is a insightful Q&A with the Middle East Institute’s Paul Salem. Hope you find it worth reading.
Lebanon is facing presidential elections in the coming days. What are the main elements of the process?
On Wednesday, April 23, Lebanon’s parliament meets for the first of possibly several sessions to elect a president. The term of the current president, Michel Suleiman, ends on May 25. There is no formal campaigning process for the post and contenders do not have to declare their candidacy beforehand. A contender needs a two-thirds majority in parliament to win in the first round, but can win by simple majority in subsequent rounds. The rounds can be held on the same day, provided a quorum of two thirds of members is maintained. The speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, can also suspend proceedings and schedule subsequent sessions for other days.
I find this particular paragraph interesting:
“If this too [ Geagea and Aoun] fails, attention could turn to candidates outside the two main camps, such as Army Chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji, Governor of the Central Bank Riad Salameh, parliamentarian Robert Ghanem, former deputy Jean Obeid, or former minister of interior and civil society activist Ziad Baroud.”
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On his FB page, Antoine Haddad, rightly pointed out that March14 camp looked united with a clear platform after endorsing Samir Geagea. that is very true, and important regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.