Beirut-Preparations are underway to welcome at Baabda Palace Lebanon’s new president who will certainly be Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun after a more than two-year vacuum at the country’s top post.
Aoun will most likely be elected during a parliament session scheduled for Monday.
Speaker Nabih Berri, who has rejected the lawmaker’s candidacy, said a quorum of a two-thirds majority, or 86 MPs, has been secured to convene the session for electing a new president.
“The quorum for the session to elect a president is known and secured. We will have a [parliament] session with two rounds [of voting] if a candidate does not win in the first round. There is no need for excitement and confusion,” he said.
A candidate needs a two-thirds majority to be elected president in the first round of voting. But in the second round, an absolute majority of 65 lawmakers is sufficient to declare a candidate a winner.
Despite his rejection to vote for Aoun as head of state, Berri said he would attend the parliament session along with his bloc. He stressed that the main challenge facing Lebanon following the election was an agreement on a new electoral law.
The office of the presidency issued a statement on Wednesday – the first since the term of former President Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 – giving instructions to journalists and media outlets on how to cover the event.
The logistics preparations of the Free Patriotic Movement, which is led by Aoun, have been almost complete. Aoun is putting the final touches on the speech he will give while taking his oath.
An FPM official told Asharq Al-Awsat that efforts are underway to guarantee the greatest possible participation in Monday’s electoral session after some parties, including Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, stressed that they would not vote for Aoun.