Parliamentary elections to be held on June 7

The Lebanese government has set its next parliamentary election for June 7. For the first time since the 1975-90 civil war Lebanon will hold the election in one day. Few of Parliament's 128 seats are expected to change hands.


Reuters - Lebanon said on Monday its parliamentary election, in which Christian swing voters are expected to play a determining role, would be held on June 7.


The one-day vote will decide whether the Sunni-led coalition supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia retains its slim majority or loses to a Hezbollah-led Shi'ite alliance, backed by Syria and Iran.


Few of parliament's 128 seats are expected to change hands, with voters likely to remain loyal to the coalition led by Sunni anti-Syrian politician Saad al-Hariri or to Hezbollah, the strongest Shi'ite party.


The fractious Christian community, whose main parties support rival alliances, is therefore in a position to determine who secures the majority.


"The electorate is invited to elect members of parliament on Sunday, June 7, 2009," a presidential decree stated.


It will be the first time since the 1975-90 civil war that Lebanon holds a parliamentary election in one day.


Fears of instability and violence are growing in the run-up to the election, and at least one senior Lebanese lawmaker has said more assassinations are a possibility.


Several politicians, all but one of them anti-Syrian, have been killed since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.


Saad al-Hariri's alliance won the last election in 2005 on a wave of anti-Syrian sentiment created by the assassination of his father Rafik. Syria has repeatedly denied involvement in the killing.

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