Future bloc MP Ahmad Fatfat jokes with presidential candidate MP Henri Helou in Parliament Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The failure of the 35th Parliament session in a row Monday to elect a president over a lack of quorum clearly indicates that a regional agreement, mainly between Saudi Arabia and its rival, Iran, is crucial for ending the 20-month-long presidential vacuum, political sources said.The failure of Monday's session to elect a president due to a lack of quorum was widely expected given the continuing boycott by Aoun's bloc, Hezbollah's bloc and some of its March 8 allies, and also because the rival factions refused to budge on their conflicting positions on the two competing candidates from the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition: Aoun and Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh.This prompted Speaker Nabih Berri to schedule a new Parliament session for March 2 . LF MP George Adwan urged Hezbollah to reach an understanding with Frangieh to ensure Aoun's election as president.Recalling Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's confirmation of Aoun as the March 8 candidate, Adwan said: "There are two ways that lead to the [presidential] election: One is for Hezbollah to act quickly to reach an understanding with MP Sleiman Frangieh in order for Gen. Aoun to remain the March 8 main candidate.
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