Last October, Lebanese politicians finally elected a new president to end a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum that had crippled the functioning of the government. But just over six months later, Lebanon is drifting into yet another political crisis that could leave the country without a functioning parliament. The parliament’s term expires on June 20, and it is extremely unlikely that an election will be held before then. The members of parliament were elected in 2009 for a four-year term but have extended their mandate twice, citing instability caused by the Syrian civil war and later the country’s lack of a president.
Last month they attempted to extend their term once again, saying they had failed to agree on new legislation under which to conduct elections. But Lebanese president Michel Aoun suspended parliamentary sessions and gave MPs one month to focus on reaching a compromise.
That deadline passed on May 15 without any agreement and with politicians as divided as ever. The parliament speaker Nabih Berri extended the deadline by two weeks to May 29, but it is uncertain whether this will yield any results. In any case it will be nearly impossible to hold elections within just a few weeks of an agreement.