Ebanese majority seeks Arab help in Presidential polls


Beirut : Lebanese parliamentary majority on Friday urged the Arab League to help in the election of a new Lebanese president.

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The urge was made following a majority meeting, during which the majority insisted on the election of Lebanese Army Chief Gen. Michel Suleiman as a new president of the republic.

It emphasized that the dispute in Lebanon “exceeded the point that it is a natural political dispute as the country is facing a coup project against power, political system and Taif Accords.” However, the group hailed Arab support for Lebanon’s independence and stability, pointing to Arab initiatives in this spirit over the past couple of years.

The majority call comes just two days ahead of an extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on the Lebanese prickly cul-de-sac.

The Lebanese opposition group Hezbollah has said openly that it will not allow a president to be elected unless it gets a third of the cabinet seats. This would give Hezbollah and its allies a veto over key decisions. Hezbollah and its allies have been demanding a third of the cabinet seats since the 2006 war with Israel.

The dispute between the government and opposition has left Lebanon without a president for more than five weeks. A parliamentary session to elect a president was postponed for the 11th time on 28 December, and is now due to begin on 12 January. Government and opposition agree on that the next president, traditionally a Maronite Christian and elected by parliament, should be the head of the army, Gen Michel Suleiman. But they disagree over the shape of a future government.