Lebanese poll: 56% consider Syrian presence ''illegitimate''
A public opinion poll published Tuesday demonstrated that 56% of those polled rejected the Lebanese regime's contention that Syrian presence in the country was 'legitimate and provisional,' with 40% supporting that concept.
In addition, 69% of the Lebanese oppose an extension or renewal of President Lahoud's term in office and 90% reject the concept of Syria appointing the president of Lebanon.
The poll was conducted by the Beirut weekly Ash Shiraa, whose three consecutive polls in 1998 convinced the late Syrian President Hafez Assad to back then army commanding Gen. Emile Lahoud for Lebanon's top post, An Nahar reported.
Ash Shiraa's new poll covered 1,000 Lebanese, 550 Muslims and 450 Christians from various walks of life across Lebanon.
Rejecters of Syria appointing Lebanon's president were 92% Sunnis, 78% Shiites, 100% Druze, 97% Maronites and 96% Christians in general, An Nahar noted.
As for the favorites for the presidency, 26% supported parliament member Nassib Lahoud, 12% rallied behind legislator Butros Harb and 10% were for Suleiman Franjieh.
In Ash Shiraa's poll, what was especially of interest was that 63% of the Christians, 77% of them Maronites, supported a change of the system to have the president elected by direct public vote provided all the runners are Maronite, An Nahar concluded. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)