Lebanon: Presidential election expected to be delayed
A Lebanese presidential election scheduled for Tuesday will be postponed until October because rival leaders have yet to agree on a compromise candidate to replace the pro-Syrian incumbent, political sources told Reuters. Parliament members have been called on Tuesday to elect a successor to President Emile Lahoud but the vote cannot take place then without agreement on a figure acceptable to both anti-Syrian coalition leaders and their Damascus-backed opposition rivals.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a close ally of Syria, is expected to call another session in October, giving the sides more time to reach a deal. Lahoud's term expires on November 23.
Meanwhile, members of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority demanded increased security on Sunday ahead of the expected election after one of their number died by a car bomb last week. A military source said, according to AFP, that security would be boosted from Monday around the parliament building.
After anti-Damascus MP Antoine Ghanem and four other people were killed by a car bomb in a Beirut suburb on Wednesday, pro-government parliamentarians pointed the finger of blame at Syria, which denied involvement.