Lebanon: Former president to participate in parliamentary by-elections
Lebanon's former president Amin Gemayel on Friday announced he will run in August 5 parliamentary by-elections to replace his son, Pierre Gemayel, who was assassinated in Beirut late 2006.
"I am a candidate for the deputy's seat in the Metn (mountains northeast of Beirut). Isn't it strange that the father is succeeding his son?" Gemayel asked a televised press conference.
Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian MP and supporter of the government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, was killed on November 21 in a suburb north of the Lebanese capital.
Siniora's government has decided to hold partial elections in the Metn and in Beirut for the two seats vacated by the murders of Gemayel and of Walid Eido, another MP who was killed in a Beirut car bombing on June 13. According to AFP, Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud has refused to counter-sign the government's decree on holding the by-elections, on the grounds the cabinet has been "illegitimate" since the resignation in November of six pro-Syrian ministers.