Lebanese presidential vote set for May 13

A 19th attempt to elect a president has been scheduled for May 13.

Lebanese presidential vote set for May 13

A 19th attempt to elect a president has been scheduled for May 13, a spokesman for parliament speaker Nabih Berri said on Saturday as Lebanon remained mired in political deadlock.

A previous session, scheduled for April 22, was postponed because of disagreement between the anti-Syrian majority, backed by the West and most Arab states, and the opposition which is supported by Iran and Syria.

'Nabih Berri has fixed a session for May 13, at midday,' spokesman Ali Hamdan said.

Speaker and opposition leader Berri has called on Lebanon's rival factions to hold talks under his auspices on forming a national unity government and on a new electoral law.

The last attempt to elect a president was postponed, despite the presence in parliament of a number of MPs from the rival group, because Berri said they did not number the requisite two-thirds quorum to hold the vote.

Lebanon is gripped by deadlock with feuding political factions unable to agree a deal to elect a replacement to pro-Syrian former president Emile Lahoud, who stepped down in November at the end of his mandate.

The country is facing its worst political crisis since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, pitting the anti-Syrian ruling coalition against the Hezbollah-led opposition.

The parliamentary majority is demanding the immediate and unconditional election to the presidency of consensus candidate and army chief Michel Sleiman.

A solution has yet to be found despite the efforts of Arab and international mediators, and the two sides remain at loggerheads.

Agencies
Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2008, 11:27
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