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Lebanese elections delayed for 7th time

Dec. 7, 2007 at 2:43 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Friday delayed the parliamentary session to elect a new head of state for the seventh time.

Nabih Berri decided to delay until Tuesday the parliamentary session because pro and anti-Syrian blocs failed to reach a consensus on the new president and amendments to the state constitution, the Kuwait News Agency KUNA reported.

The constitutional amendment centers on Article 49 that requires a two-year lapse between the holding of a government position and a run for president. The amendment would allow Gen. Michel Sleiman, the current army chief, to run for president, the al-Alam News Network said .

Berri said he was optimistic that the obstacles to the presidential elections in Lebanon were near an end.

"There will be two sessions on Tuesday, one to amend the constitution and another to elect the president" he said.

The term of former president Emile Lahoud expired Nov. 24, leaving the presidency in Lebanon vacant.

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