Presidential election scheduled in Lebanon

Sept. 6, 2007 at 2:47 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- An official vote to determine the next president of Lebanon will take place this month, thanks to a motion from the nation's parliament speaker.

A spokesman for Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri confirmed this week that Berri called for an official presidential vote to take place Sept. 25 as an attempt to quell the rising political discord throughout the nation, the Lebanon Daily Star said Thursday.

"The speaker had previously said that there will be a session, today he made it official and called for a general assembly at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 25, in order to elect a new president," spokesman Arafat Hijazi said.

With Lebanese President Emile Lahoud's term ending Nov. 24, some have grown increasingly concerned that the country's warring political forces could create two separate governments, the Daily Star reported.

Hijazi said that two-thirds of the Lebanese parliament must be present at the electoral session to make it official and warned that a failed vote could be disastrous.

"If anything less than what he expects shows up, then he will not convene the session," he said of Berri's expectations. "This could lead to disaster."

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