Jihad Azour, a regional director for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was proposed for the presidency by 32 Lebanese lawmakers. It is a seven-month vacancy due to political unrest.
Former President Michel Aoun’s term ended last October without a successor appointed.
Since then, 11 parliamentary ballots have been held in an attempt to elect a new president, but intense political disputes have blocked any candidate from securing enough votes to replace Aoun.
Lebanon, which is in the midst of a crisis, has been governed by a caretaker administration with restricted powers since the May 2022 legislative elections, which resulted in no party winning a distinct majority.
Lawmaker Mark Daou, representing a group of 32 legislators, publicly endorsed Azour after weeks of negotiations, describing him “as a candidate that is not considered provocative by any political factor in the country”.
These same legislators had previously supported another presidential candidate, Michel Moawad, who withdrew his nomination on Sunday and pledged his support to Azour.
Azour, who served as Lebanon’s finance minister from 2005 to 2008 and currently acts as the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia director, has not yet officially declared his intention to run for the presidency.