Lebanon’s presidential election postponed again to Feb. 26

By Xinhua

Beirut : Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced on Saturday that the presidential election was postponed to Feb. 26 from the scheduled Feb. 11, the 14th delay of a parliamentary vote.

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The official National News Agency reported that the top legislator has announced the postponement of the parliamentary session for electing a new president for the 14th time since Sept.25.

The postponement came the same day that Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa packed up his three day visit in Lebanon.

On Friday, the AL chief brought together opposition leader Michel Aoun and majority leader Saad Hariri in a quartet meeting with the presence of ex-president Amin Gemayel.

This is the second time Moussa succeeded in gathering Lebanese rival leaders since his mission started following the Arab foreign ministers meeting, in which an Arab plan was endorsed on Jan. 6.

The three-point plan aimed at immediately electing Gen. Michel Suleiman as Lebanese President and proceeding to forming a government of national unity and drafting a new electoral law.

The two camps have agreed in principle to elect Michel Suleimanto replace Emile Lahoud, but are still divided on how to amend the constitution to allow for his election, as well as on the shape and policies of the future government.

Lebanon is currently facing the most serious political deadlock since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. For the first time in its history, the presidential seat has been vacant since Nov. 24 of 2007 when former President Emile Lahoud stepped down.

The sharply divided Lebanese parliament has delayed the elections again and again without a consensus, which deepened the fears that failure in electing a new president could result in more violence in the country.