Lebanon's presidential election postponed again to Feb. 11
www.chinaview.cn 2008-01-20 19:42:26   Print

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora (R) meets with Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa at the governmental palace in Beirut. A parliament session due on Monday to elect Lebanon's president has been postponed to Feb. 11, despite Arab mediation to break the deadlock, the parliament speaker's office announced on Sunday
(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    BEIRUT, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese parliament speaker's office announced Sunday that a parliamentary session to elect Lebanon's president was postponed again, from Jan. 21 to Feb. 11.

    "Monday's session has been postponed until Feb. 11 to allow more dialogues among different parties on the Arab initiative," Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri said in a short statement.

    It is the 13th postponement since Sept. 25.

    The postponement came one day after Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa returned to Beirut from Syria on Saturday.

    The AL chief tried to gather opposition leader Michel Aoun and Majority leader Saad Hariri on Saturday evening, but the meeting aborted because Aoun announced he was having some urinary problems that requires him to rest for a couple of days.

    During his latest visit to Lebanon on Thursday, Moussa was able to bring together Aoun and Hariri in the presence of former President Amin Gemayel, before heading to Damascus for talks with Syrian officials.

    Moussa, who has visited Lebanon three times during the past two weeks, held marathon talks with Lebanese leaders to promote an Arab initiative which was endorsed in Cairo on Jan. 6.

    The three-point Arab plan is aimed at immediately electing Lebanese Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as Lebanese president and proceeding to forming a government of national unity and drafting a new electoral law.

    Lebanese presidential seat has been vacant since former President Emile Lahoud ended his term on Nov. 24 and the sharply divided Lebanese parliament has delayed the elections again and again without a consensus.

    The two camps have agreed in principle to elect Suleiman to replace Lahoud, but are still divided on how to amend the constitution to allow for his election, as well as on the shape and policies of the future government.

    The Lebanese ruling coalition and the opposition have been separated by a wide chasm since six of the latter's ministers resigned from Prime Minister Fouad Seniora's government in November 2006.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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