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Lebanon's elections to start May 29

  |   April 27, 2005 at 6:19 AM
BEIRUT, Lebanon, April 27 (UPI) -- Lebanon's general elections will kick off on May 29, National Assembly Speaker Nabih Berri told reporters Wednesday.

Berri sought to dissipate fears that the elections, the first to be held after Syria's total military and intelligence withdrawal from Lebanon, would be postponed.

"The first phase of the elections will be held on May 29, and that is definite," Berri said before attending the second parliamentary session to debate the new government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati's policy statement, at the end of which a motion of confidence will take place.

General elections in Lebanon are usually held in three phases for logistical reasons.

Holding free and open elections as scheduled next month is the main priority of the new government and is an international and Arab request provided for in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559.

Berri said his parliamentary bloc would support Mikati's government in the motion of confidence, on the basis of the promise to hold elections May 29.

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