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Lebanon Opposition Drops Demand For Unity Government


The speaker of Lebanon's parliament has said opposition parties are willing to drop their demand for a national unity government if the country's political parties can agree on a consensus candidate for the presidency.

Nabih Berri said Friday, if parliament could approve a presidential candidate with a two-thirds majority, the opposition would not insist on a national unity government before the elections.

Until Berri announced the concession, Lebanon's opposition parties had insisted on both a unity government and a consensus presidential candidate. The majority rejected those demands.

Lebanon has been in a political stalemate since November, when opposition Hezbollah party members withdrew from the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

On Thursday, Lebanon's president, Emile Lahoud, said he would appoint an interim government headed by the army chief if parliament does not agree on a new head of state before his term expires in November.

Army commander Michel Suleiman did not confirm if he would accept the job.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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