Offering a glimmer of hope of a political step forward amid economic difficulties, lawmakers were summoned for a session this week by Lebanon’s parliament speaker to elect the country’s next president on Tuesday.
According to a memo from parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, the Lebanese parliament is to convene on Thursday. Under Lebanon’s fragile sectarian power-sharing system, the country’s 128-member parliament votes for a president, who must be a Maronite Christian.
The successor of incumbent President Michel Aoun is to be elected at a time when Lebanon is going through an economic meltdown and the government struggles to implement structural reforms required for a bailout from the IMF.
Three-quarters of the tiny Mediterranean nation has plunged into poverty due to the crisis and the Lebanese pound has lost 90 percent of its value against the dollar.
Raising prospects of renewed political paralysis, it is unclear whether legislators in a deeply divided parliament will be able to reach a quorum for the session.