Lebanon News

Rival MPs fear ‘traps’ ahead of election session

A worker carries the empty ballot box ahead of the presidential election session at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Lawmakers are cautious about attending Thursday’s Parliament session to vote for a new president, political sources told The Daily Star, adding that a letter addressed to MPs by outgoing President Michel Sleiman will be read during the session.

Lawmakers from both the rival March 8 and March 14 camps fear their opponents will set a “trap,” forcing the election of their candidate.

March 14 parliamentary sources said that lawmakers from the coalition would withdraw from the session if they sensed that Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun could get the required 65 votes to make him the next president.

The March 8 lawmakers, in turn, will also withdraw from the meeting if they detect some plot to elect a candidate against the group’s interests.

According to the sources, Sleiman urged lawmakers in his message to elect his successor within the constitutional deadline.

Lawmakers, however, are not likely to take Sleiman’s advice, the sources said.

It is still unclear whether the Hezbollah and FPM lawmakers who boycotted four previous attempts to vote on a new president will attend Thursday's session.





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