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Vote for Lebanese president delayed

Oct. 22, 2007 at 8:32 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Lebanese parliamentary vote for a new president was postponed Monday until next month by National Assembly Speaker Nabih Berri.

"The parliament speaker has decided to postpone the session to Monday, Nov. 12, for more consultation and agreement over the president, who symbolizes the country's unity," a government statement said.

Under the constitution, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud must step down by Nov. 23 but rival parties have been unable to reach consensus on a replacement, the Alalam Satellite TV network reported.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is considered an ally by the United States and Saudi Arabia, while opposition parties, including Hezbollah, claim he is a U.S. puppet, the report said.

Opposition parties boycotted parliament on Sept. 25, meaning the ruling coalition didn't have a two-thirds quorum and a presidential vote was postponed, the network said.

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