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Lebanon puts back presidential election again

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Lebanon puts back presidential election again


Lebanon’s presidential election has been postponed again despite rival leaders agreeing in principle to give the post to army chief Michel Suleiman.

It will now take place next Tuesday. It is the seventh time the vote has been delayed since a first attempt in September.

Direct talks between the anti-Syrian ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition have failed to clinch a deal on how to amend the constitution to allow Suleiman to take the job.

Analysts say the postponement is a sign the two sides believe they are within reach of a broad power-sharing agreement. That would ensure a two-thirds quorum for parliament to endorse Suleiman.

He emerged as the consensus choice after Saeed Hariri and his allies dropped their insistence on electing a candidate clearly opposed to Syrian influence in Lebanon.

Electing a president would help defuse a political crisis that has crippled Lebanon for more than a year and led to its worst internal strife since a civil war ended 17-years ago.

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