Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri speaks during a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A Parliament session to elect a new president will not be held this week, as March 8 lawmakers are determined to scuttle the vote in an attempt to push their March 14 rivals into agreement on a compromise candidate, political sources said Sunday.Speaker Nabih Berri has called on Parliament to meet Wednesday to elect a president after no candidate secured the two-thirds vote needed to win during the first round of voting last week.Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, the candidate backed by the March 14 coalition, won 48 votes against 52 blank ballots cast by lawmakers from MP Michel Aoun's bloc and March 8 parties, while 16 lawmakers voted for MP Henry Helou from Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt's bloc. March 14 lawmakers said Sunday that Geagea was still the coalition's only candidate for the country's top Christian post. "General Michel Aoun will not run for the presidency unless the results of contacts led to a consensus on him," Salhab told the Voice of Lebanon radio station. He said Aoun would not accept becoming "a challenging candidate". Youssef said that if the country fell into a presidential vacuum, rival political factions should agree on "a consensus candidate".
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