Lebanon won't celebrate independence day, owing to presidential vacancy

Beirut, Nov 22: Lebanon has cancelled all official plans to celebrate its independence day, according to media reports.

The decision was taken owing to the current vacancy in the country's presidency, Xinhua reported, citing the National News Agency.

The country has remained without a president for nearly six months now.


Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam issued a circulation on Friday to cancel all official events to celebrate the country's independence, according to the report.

Lebanon had gained independence from French mandate Nov 22, 1943.

Since Michel Suleiman's tenure as president ended on May 25, the parliament has failed for 15 consecutive times to elect a new president, owing to a sharp divisions among the country's political parties.

The latest parliamentary voting took place Wednesday, in which merely 56 members of parliament were present in the 128-seat parliament, far less than the required constitutional two-thirds quorum, which made Speaker Nabih Berri call for a new session Dec 10.

According to the constitution, Prime Minister Tammam Salam's government will be in charge of the president's office until a new president is elected.

It is not for the first time that there has been a vacuum in Lebanon's presidency. In 1988, after President Amine Gemayel's tenure ended, the country remained without a president until 1989.

Again in 2007, after the extended term of President Emile Lahoud ended, the post remained vacant until May 25, 2008, when President Suleiman was elected.

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