Parliament’s Bureau counts votes under Berri’s supervision.
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Rival politicians are gearing up for horse trading to reach agreement over a compromise president after Parliament failed Wednesday to elect a new head of state in the first round of voting.During Wednesday's Parliament session attended by 124 lawmakers – only four MPs were absent – no candidate secured the two-thirds of the vote needed to win, while March 8 lawmakers cast blank ballots in what appeared to be a message to their rivals, suggesting the need for a deal over a compromise president.Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, the March 14-backed candidate, won 48 votes against 52 blank ballots cast by March 8 lawmakers, while 16 lawmakers voted for MP Henry Helou from Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt's bloc. One MP voted for the Kataeb Party leader, former President Amine Gemayel, and seven ballots were ruled invalid. Aoun, the March 8 coalition's presumed presidential candidate, said he would only run for president as a "consensus candidate".
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