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Lebanon's Parliament Called to Hold Presidential Vote September 25

Lebanon's parliament speaker has called for the deeply-divided legislature to meet September 25 to choose a new president.

Nabih Berri said Wednesday he hopes all lawmakers will attend the session to pick a successor to pro-Syrian head of state Emile Lahoud. Lebanon's parliament must have a two-thirds quorum to hold a vote.

The pro-Syrian opposition has called on the Western-backed ruling coalition to propose a new head of state acceptable to both sides.

Prime Minister Fuad Siniora's government has yet to respond to the idea. It controls only a slight majority of 69 seats in the 128-member parliament.

The Hezbollah-led opposition has threatened to boycott the presidential vote and deny parliament a quorum if no agreement is reached on a candidate.

Mr. Lahoud has said he will ask the army chief to lead an interim government if his successor is not elected by November 23, when his term ends.

Lebanon's political crisis has paralyzed the government since November.

Traditionally, Lebanon's president is a Maronite Christian as part of efforts to share power among the country's different groups.

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