Lebanon presidential vote seen delayed again: politicians

A parliamentary session on Friday to elect a president is set to be delayed for a seventh time to allow feuding parties to finalise negotiations.

Lebanon presidential vote seen delayed again: politicians

A parliamentary session on Friday for Lebanese lawmakers to elect a president is set to be delayed for a seventh time to allow feuding parties to finalise negotiations, several politicians said Thursday.

"Friday's session is most probably going to be delayed for technical reasons," said Ammar Houry, an MP from the Future bloc of parliament majority leader Saad Hariri.

Several officials said that while rival leaders had agreed on the army chief, General Michel Sleiman, as the consensus candidate, there was still bickering on amending the constitution to allow his election and on the make-up of the new cabinet.

MP Ibrahim Kanaan, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement of Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, said Friday's session would probably be delayed again by common agreement between the Western-backed ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition.

"Even if there is a political agreement, we will not have time to carry out a constitutional amendment between today and tomorrow" to elect Sleiman as president, he said.

Article 49 of the constitution bars public servants from assuming the presidency within two years of stepping down from their posts.

Lebanon has been without a president since November 23, when incumbent Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his term with feuding political parties unable to agree on a successor.

Six sessions to elect a president have already been postponed since September.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2007, 18:20
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