Prime Minister Tammam Salam hands a gift to President Michel Sleiman who chaired the last Cabinet session of his term at Baabda Palace, Friday, May 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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President Michel Sleiman will leave Baabda Palace Saturday at the end of his six-year mandate as Lebanon is destined to slip into a presidential vacuum following Parliament's failure to pick a successor.The Kataeb Party, meanwhile, warned that a presidential vacuum would threaten Lebanon's unity because the Maronite president was the symbol of the state. Sleiman Friday chaired what was described as the last and farewell Cabinet session at Baabda Palace with 42 items on its agenda. Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan said Parliament should not be allowed to legislate while the presidency seat is vacant. Another LF MP Antoine Zahra said his party would only attend Parliament sessions to elect a new president or to discuss extraordinary issues. Jumblatt renewed his call for the election of "a consensual president".He said his party's presidential nominee, MP Henry Helou, could be an acceptable compromise candidate, while opposing Aoun and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea for president.
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