Lebanon: 63 Blank Votes in 1st Round of Presidential Election
Story Code : 1016849
As 63 MPs cast blank ballots, 36 voted for MP Michel Mouawad, 11 voted for Salim Edde, 10 voted for "Lebanon."
Dozens of MPs walked out of the session after the results of the first round were announced, stripping the second round of the needed 86-MP quorum. This prompted Speaker Nabih Berri to announce that he will not call for another session before consensus is secured over a certain candidate.
Deep divisions among MPs have raised fears that Lebanon could be left without a president for months after President Michel Aoun's mandate runs out at the end of October.
In the first round of voting, a two-thirds majority of 86 votes is required for a candidate to win. When the election goes to a second round, the required majority falls to 65.