Speaker Nabih Berri reads in Parliament a letter from President Michel Sleiman urging MPs to elect a new president, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (The Daily Star/ Mohammad Azakir)
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Lack of a breakthrough in Lebanon's presidential election was a foregone conclusion ahead of a parliamentary vote scheduled for Thursday with a majority of March 8 lawmakers pledging to boycott the session again.The lack of quorum will bring Lebanon ever closer to presidential vacuum as President Michel Sleiman's term ends Sunday. But despite the continued deadlock, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun, whose bloc will shun the parliamentary session, offered conciliatory remarks toward his rivals across the political aisle, saying Wednesday that he along with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah formed Lebanon's power "trinity". Amid the persistent deadlock, however, Speaker Nabih Berri said he was ready to call for a parliamentary session to elect a new president as soon as quorum was met.Berri has called for Parliament to meet once again Thursday to vote for a new president, after lawmakers botched four attempts in less than a month due to a lack of quorum to elect Sleiman's successor.Berri argued that a two-thirds quorum is required during all rounds to elect the president.Some Maronite MPs have threatened to boycott future assembly sessions if a president is not elected on time.
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