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Lebanon, without a president for six months, postpones election again

Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri announced Wednesday that presidential elections have again been delayed, this time until Jan. 7.

By JC Finley
Lebanon, without a president for six months, postpones election again
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, meets with Nabih Berri, Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, in Beirut in January 2012. Evan Schneider/UN

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- More than six months after Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman stepped down at the end of his six-year term, Lebanon continues to be without a president.

On Wednesday, Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri announced that presidential elections have again been delayed. Elections, he said, will be held Jan. 7.

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Parliament has for the 16th time failed to reach a quorum or consensus on a candidate to head the country.

A quorum was met at the first legislative session in April but no candidate obtained the necessary votes to win. Since then, legislators have been unable to reach a quorum because of a boycott by the March 8 Alliance.

British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher met Wednesday with former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, saying afterward that "The presidential deadline is an internal issue and Lebanese politicians should achieve progress in it."

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