By Hamza Tekin
Lebanon’s parliament on Thursday failed -- for the 41st time -- to elect a new president for the country amid an ongoing boycott by Hezbollah lawmakers and other political blocs.
Thirty-three MPs attended Thursday’s assembly session, falling well short of the 86 necessary to meet the mandatory quorum for holding the vote.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri set the next vote attempt for July 13, when MPs will try once again to elect a new head of state.
Former President Michel Suleiman’s term ended in May of 2014. Since then, Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament has been unable to muster enough MPs to elect a new president.
Lebanon’s political forces remain sharply divided between supporters of the "March 14 Alliance", a political alliance that backs the anti-regime opposition in next-door Syria, and the "March 8 Alliance", which includes Hezbollah and supports Syria’s Assad regime.
A third, centrist bloc, meanwhile, is led by Druze politician Walid Jumblatt and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.