Kerry pushes Lebanon's vote efforts

March 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Lebanon needs to honor the spirit of its 2005 revolution and ensure that its upcoming elections are peaceful, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

This week marks the eighth anniversary of the Cedar Revolution, which broke Syria's grip on the Lebanon's political affairs.

Kerry, in a statement commemorating the anniversary, said Lebanon is facing tough challenges as it works to ensure its own political stability.

"As Lebanon prepares for its parliamentary elections, we call on all parties to reject the use of violence and to resolve their differences peacefully and at the ballot box, consistent with the Lebanese constitution," he said in a statement.

"Lebanon's democratic process is a valuable achievement and we urge Lebanon and its leaders to uphold their commitment to this process and hold elections on time."

The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon reports that former lawmakers called on current leaders to ensure elections are conducted in June as planned. Lawmakers in Beirut are divided over electoral laws, raising the possibility of a delay.

Lebanon's political system is notoriously fractured and parliamentary boycotts are common. The country's internal dynamics, meanwhile, are threatened by the potential spillover from the Syrian civil war.

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