Lebanon’s parliament will assemble today in another attempt to elect a new president. Lebanese lawmakers have been trying to elect
Lebanon’s parliament will assemble today in another attempt to elect a new president.
Lebanese lawmakers have been trying to elect a new president for the last month, following the end of President Michel Auon’s term. In the midst of an economic crisis, Lebanon’s month-long presidential vacancy is hindering the country’s efforts to receive loans for economic recovery. The parliament is divided amongst Iranian-backed Hezbollah and the opposition group spearheaded by the Strong Republic Bloc, leading to the current impasse.
While the parliament is currently divided between the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its opposition, there is no dominant party, making it difficult to elect a president as a two-thirds majority is needed. Regardless of the new president, Beirut’s GDP is expected to shrink further during the short-to-medium term. This is mainly due to the current hold-ups of Lebanese banks – most of which are owned by political elites – and the judicial body’s inability to take action against it. The Lebanese banks will be unable to pay back their depositors and will possibly declare bankruptcy. This would most likely make Beirut more dependent on World Bank loans for long-term economic recovery.