Lebanese Forces MP Strida Geagea arrives at Parliament in Beirut, Thursday, May 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A contagion of political paralysis threatens Lebanon's institutions and could spread to the Cabinet and Parliament after the failure to elect a president before the Sunday deadline, experts and analysts said.The deadlock will enshrine foreign interference in Lebanon's political process and shows the need for constitutional reforms that regulate the nomination and election of the president, the only Christian head of state in the Middle East, they said. Lebanon also has to conduct parliamentary elections in November, raising the possibility that the MPs who are expected to elect the president may themselves see their mandate expire amid the vacuum.Instead, the president is likely to be chosen through compromise.Despite the presidential vacuum, the situation in Lebanon is less fractious than it was in prior presidential crises.Experts said a regional consensus would be needed in order to elect a president agreeable to both sides of the political divide.Farhat, the retired general, said foreign interference is already pervasive in the presidential election.
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