Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

#TECH 24

Tech giants under scrutiny: The problem with Uber

Read more

FOCUS

Inside an Iranian nuclear research reactor

Read more

Presidential vote delayed in Lebanon

Latest update : 2008-02-14

Lawmakers from the ruling coalition and the Hezbollah-led opposition have until November 24 to pick a candidate to succeed the current pro-Syrian head of state Emile Lahoud.

BEIRUT, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Lebanon delayed its presidential
election by nearly three weeks to Nov. 12 on Monday to allow
more time for rival pro- and anti-Syrian groups to agree on a
compromise candidate.
 

The Lebanese parliament had been scheduled to meet on
Tuesday to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile
Lahoud, whose term expires on Nov. 23.
 

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement he was
postponing the vote "to allow for more consultations that would
lead to consensus on electing a president who would symbolise
the unity and resilience of the country".
 

It is the second postponement in electing a president, a
step seen as vital to resolving a one-year-old crisis pitting
the anti-Syrian ruling majority against the opposition, led by
pro-Syrian Hezbollah.
 

Political sources said the delay was a positive signal that
the two sides were still hopeful of reaching a compromise to
ensure a smooth transition.
 

"We wish that by that time (Nov. 12), we are able to
progress towards holding this constitutional election," Prime
Minister Fouad Siniora said.
 

There are fears that if no president is elected before
Lahoud's term expires, Lebanon would end up with two rival
governments and bloodshed. The political crisis is the worst
since the 1975-1990 civil war.
 

Opposition MPs boycotted parliament on Sept. 25 to prevent a
two-thirds quorum and thwart anti-Syrian factions, which have a
slim majority, from electing a new head of state.
 

Siniora's backers, including the United States and Saudi
Arabia, want to replace Lahoud with one of their own.
 

Hezbollah and its allies in the opposition want to deny the
presidency to their rivals, whom they regard as puppets of the
United States.
 

Date created : 2007-10-22

COMMENT(S)