Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets al Shabaab Islamists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Lebanon's presidential vote postponed again

Latest update : 2008-04-22

Lebanon's political deadlock continues after the Parliament speaker postponed the presidential vote for the 18th time since November 2007. The speaker said a new date would be set after rival factions agree to dialogue. F24's Sarah Khouri reports.

Lebanon's parliament speaker Tuesday announced the postponement of the latest scheduled session to elect a state president amid continuing political deadlock.
  
Nabih Berri, the speaker and opposition leader, made the annoucement on state television but reiterated an invitation to Lebanon's rival factions to hold talks on the formation of a national unity government and a new electoral law under his auspices.
  
"If they agree to dialogue, together we will set a date for the vote," Berri said, adding that he would set the date for a new session himself if he did not get a positive response to his appeal.
  
The 18th attempt to elect a president was postponed despite the presence in parliament of a number of MPs from the rival groupings, which Berri said did not reach the requisite two-thirds quorom to hold the vote.
  
Tuesday's session had not in any case been expected to lead to a breakthrough in the 16-month standoff.
  
Before the announcement, Berri had held a closed door meeting with Walid Jumblatt, a leader in the ruling coalition.
  
"We hope for a positive response to Berri's initiative, and if they don't want the dialogue, they should tell us what our other options are," said Ali Bazzi, an MP of Berri's Amal party.
  
However, majority lawmaker and telecommunications minister Marwan Hamadeh told AFP after Tuesday's announcement that "this is not an invitation to dialogue, it is setting preconditions for the presidency....this invitation is a masquerade."
  
The coalition have previously rejected Berri's offer to host talks saying that his being a member of the opposition disqualifies him from being a mediator.
  
Lebanon is mired in its worst political crisis since the end of its 1975-1990 civil war pitting the anti-Syrian ruling coalition against the Hezbollah-led opposition backed by Syria and Iran.
  
The country has been without a president since late November when the pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his mandate.
  
The parliamentary majority, backed by the West and most Arab states, is demanding the immediate and unconditional election of consensus candidate and army chief Michel Sleiman.
  
Hezbollah MP Nawwar al-Sahli reiterated the opposition's demand for a "package" deal to go with Sleiman's election.
  
"We have told the majority that if they want the election of a president to come to agree to hold a dialogue to discuss the government and the electoral law," Sahli told journalists.

Date created : 2008-04-22

COMMENT(S)