Outgoing Lebanon chief urges army security

Nov. 23, 2007 at 4:43 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The president of Lebanon, only hours before he was set to leave office without a named successor, called on the Lebanese army to preserve security.

President Emile Lahoud, who is pro-Syrian, said in a statement the danger exists for a state of emergency, Voice of America reported from Beirut.

But a spokesman for Prime Minister Foud Siniora said the government rejects Lahoud's order to the army to take security powers. A spokesman for Lahoud countered the president was not declaring a state of emergency but calling on the army to maintain order, CNN reported.

Lahoud also announced he did not plan to name a new government before he leaves office, leaving Siniora's government in place for the moment.

Parliament must name a successor to Lahoud, but the political opposition is boycotting the process. Lahoud's term of office was set to end at midnight Friday.

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