Lebanon moves vote on president to Oct.

Sept. 25, 2007 at 7:43 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Lebanese opposition boycotted a parliamentary vote on a new president Tuesday, forcing the rescheduling of a vote for Oct. 23.

Because parliament needs a two-thirds majority to elect a president in a first round of voting, Speaker Nabih Berri said he had no choice but to reschedule, the Alalam Satellite TV Network reported from Beirut.

Parliament has a Nov. 24 deadline to elect a successor to President Emile Lahoud.

Berri's opposition party and allies are pro-Western and opposed to Syrian influence in Lebanon. Failure to agree on a president could result in two governments, the report said.

Six anti-Syrian influence lawmakers have been assassinated in the past two years. Most recently, Christian party member Antoine Ghanem was killed by a bomb in Beirut last week.

In Damascus, Syria's Al-Baath newspaper said Lahoud supporters insistence on choosing the president meant the government was "pursuing its scheme for Lebanon to fall in the grip of U.S.-Israeli projects."

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