Lebanese parliament confirms that elections will be held on March 27

Lebanon: On Thursday, the Lebanese parliament voted to hold legislative elections on March 27, confirming an earlier vote last week that President Michel Aoun had challenged.

The parliament voted on October 19 to hold the election at that time, but President Aoun sent the law back to the legislature on Friday for reconsideration. The vote was passed by 77 MPs on Thursday, but some, including members of Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), who were opposed to the earlier date, expressed concern about whether quorum was achieved for a second vote on Lebanese living abroad voting.

The elections were supposed to take place in May. On the back of the dispute, Gebran Bassil, the FPM leader and Aoun's son-in-law, withdrew from the session with his alliance, effectively ending the session for the day.

After leaving, he said, "We withdrew from the session because of a major constitutional violation." The election date of March 27 would give Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government only a few months to try to secure an IMF recovery plan in the midst of a deepening economic crisis.


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