In Lebanon, presidential vacuum looms as lawmakers fail again to elect new president

The Lebanese parliament has failed in its fourth attempt in a month's time to hold a session to elect the country's new president, a move that heralds a presidential vacuum in the tiny Arab nation.

As in previous sessions, the vote could not be held on Thursday as lawmakers, many of them allied with the militant Hezbollah group, boycotted the voting.

With no quorum in the house, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned the session and scheduled a fifth round of voting for May 22.

President Michel Suleiman's term expires May 25 but the country's feuding politicians have been unable to agree on a compromise candidate to replace him.

A two-thirds quorum of the legislature's 128 members is required for an electoral session. Only 73 lawmakers showed up on Thursday.