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Lebanese parliament delays presidential vote for 11th time

Lebanese parliament delays presidential vote for 11th time

A parliamentary session to elect Lebanon's president has been postponed for the 11th time, with feuding factions deadlocked over a constitutional amendment and the shape of a future government.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri postponed Saturday's session until Jan. 12, according to the legislature's secretary general.
The decision announced Friday had been widely expected. The crisis over the presidency has capped a yearlong power struggle between anti-Syrian politicians, who hold a slim majority in parliament and support the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, and the opposition, led by Syrian and Iranian ally Hezbollah.
Opposition boycotts have thwarted attempts to choose a president by preventing a two-thirds quorum. The post has been empty since pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud's term ended Nov. 23.
Lawmakers on both sides have agreed to back Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman as a compromise candidate, but parliament must first amend the constitution to allow a sitting military chief to become president.
That process has been complicated by the opposition's demand for a new unity government that would give it veto power over major decisions.
The ruling coalition has accused the opposition of obstructing the presidential vote under orders from Syria and Iran. In turn, the opposition claims pro-government groups bend to the will of the United States.


Updated : 2021-01-24 17:55 GMT+08:00