// IP Marketing video - START// IP Marketing video - END

Lebanon's president urges politicians to choose successor

Lebanon's president urges politicians to choose successor

PanARMENIAN.Net - Lebanon's president called on squabbling politicians on Saturday, May 24, to choose a successor to his post, leaving behind a political vacuum chiefly caused by the fallout from the civil war in neighboring Syria, the Associated Press reports.

President Michel Sleiman spoke during a farewell speech to end his six-year term. Lebanese politicians haven't been able to agree on a successor to Suleiman, whose term ends Sunday.

Lebanon is accustomed to lurching political crisis, and the country's unity government will administer until a new president is selected.

The country went for months without a president before Sleiman, a former army commander, was elected in 2008. But the absence of a president is chiefly a setback for Lebanon's Christian community, whose influence has significantly waned since the country's 1975-90 war. It also erodes Lebanon's fragile institutions that keep the country of Christian and Muslim minority sects together, the AP says.

In Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shiite Muslim.

A two-thirds quorum, or 85 of the legislature's 128 members, is required for an electoral session to elect the president.

The elections are also influenced by international and regional actors backing rival factions, and presidents are elected only after securing the necessary regional support and consensus among the political camps.

But consensus has been near impossible. The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has been fighting onside of Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, while most Sunnis broadly support the armed uprising to overturn his rule.

Hezbollah-loyal politicians have demanded a future president be sympathetic to the militia's military intervention.

 Top stories
Footage showed a plume of smoke rising from the area in the aftermath of the blast and extensive damage to the facade of the police station.
The shooting began after 6 p.m. in a McDonald's restaurant in the mall. The latest reports suggest that police are still evacuating the building.
Gunfire and explosions rocked both the main city Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities.
German lawmakers in June passed a resolution recognizing the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide.
Partner news