U.N. urges Lebanon to elect new president

Anti-government protesters chant slogans as they hold their national flag outside the Environment Ministry, in support of activists staging a sit-in inside on Sept. 1 (AP)

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday called on Lebanon's parliament to elect a new president to help ease a political crisis that has fueled mass street protests.

The appeal comes after Lebanese lawmakers again failed in their 28th bid to elect a new president and fill the post left vacant since May 2014.

The deadlock in parliament took place against the backdrop of street protests first sparked by frustration over rubbish collection but that have since mushroomed into anger at Lebanon's political class under the umbrella slogan of “You Stink” protests.

After hearing a report from U.N. envoy Sigrid Kaag, the 15-member council expressed support for the government, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters.

Council members called on the parliament "to meet and elect a president as soon as possible in order to put an end to the constitutional instability," said Churkin, whose country holds this month's presidency of the council.

A meeting on the Lebanon crisis is expected to take place on the sidelines of the U.N. gathering of world leaders later this month.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:56 - GMT 10:56