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Amid Hezbollah opposition, Lebanon MPs again fail to elect president

Hezbollah supporters hold up portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he speaks via a video link during a ceremony marking Prophet Muhammad's birthday, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.  (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Hezbollah supporters hold up portraits of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as he speaks via a video link during a ceremony marking Prophet Muhammad's birthday, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanese lawmakers fail for a seventh time to elect a successor to former president Michel Aoun, even though the vacancy is hampering efforts to rescue the stricken economy.

Parliament is split between supporters of the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority.

Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 42 of parliament’s 128 MPs, but his tally fell well short of the required majority and was exceeded by the number of spoilt ballots cast by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers.

Moawad’s candidacy is opposed by Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah called this month for a president ready to stand up to the United States.

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