Lebanese presidential elections postponed again

By Xinhua

Beirut : Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday postponed a parliamentary session scheduled Tuesday to elect Lebanon’s president to March. 11, local New TV reported.

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In order to give more chances to the efforts of Arab league chief, and to reach consensus among the Lebanese, the session is postponed until March 11 before the Arab Summit convenes, Berri was quoted as saying in a statement.

It is the 15th postponement since Sept. 25.

The postponement came shortly after Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa declared unsuccessful results Monday, after a meeting between Lebanese rival political leaders aimed at reaching a solution to the ongoing crisis.

There was a “firm consensus” by Lebanon’s rival blocs on electing a president, but the number of ministers in the new government “requires more discussions,” Moussa told reporters after a four party meeting.

The quartet meeting, which held this afternoon gathering opposition Christian leader Gen. Michel Aoun, majority leader MPSaad Hariri and former president Amin Gemayel, is the second such meeting in two days.

During his several missions to Beirut, the AL chief has failed so far in convincing the two Lebanese rival blocs to accept an Arab plan which was endorsed in Cairo on Jan. 6.

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

Lebanese presidential seat has been vacant since former president Emile Lahoud ended his term on Nov. 24, and the sharply divided Lebanese parliament has delayed the elections for 15 times without a consensus.