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Lebanon's presidential stalemate

The deadlock in the politicking over Lebanon's next president has a familiar feel.
Lebanese members of parliament count the votes after casting their ballots to elect the new Lebanese president in the parliament building in downtown Beirut April 23, 2014. Lebanese parliamentarians failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting on Wednesday, with leading candidate Samir Geagea falling well short of the required two-thirds majority. REUTERS/Joseph Eid/Pool    (LEBANON - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS) - RTR3MATM
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The Lebanese parliament convened on April 23 to elect a president. The voting was carried out correctly and, as expected, there wasn't a winner. The results of today's session surprised no one.

The March 14 coalition's declared candidate, Samir Geagea, obtained 48 votes from the 124 members of parliament (MPs) present. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt's bloc, which split from March 14 and has positioned itself in the center, obtained 16 votes. The first thing worth noting is that, had Jumblatt not split and had former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the head of his bloc Okab Sakr (both of whom are outside of Lebanon) attended, March 14 could have obtained 66 votes. This is more than the absolute majority needed to elect a president in the second round of voting.

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