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Lebanon's Presidential Vote Delayed for 12th Time


Lebanon has delayed its presidential vote in parliament for the 12th time - despite Arab League efforts to persuade rival political leaders to agree to an Arab plan aimed at ending Lebanon's political crisis.

A spokesman says parliament speaker Nabih Berri postponed Saturday's scheduled vote until January 21.

The announcement came after Berri met with Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who had been holding talks on the Arab plan since Wednesday with leaders from the pro-Western ruling coalition and the pro-Syrian opposition.

The plan called for the election of General Michel Suleiman, Lebanon's army chief, as president and the formation of a national unity government.

Lebanon's ruling coalition and opposition have agreed in principle that General Suleiman should become president. But they disagree on how to amend Lebanon's constitution to allow him to be elected.

The charter forbids senior political appointees from standing for president while in office.

Lebanon has been without a president since pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud left office on November 23. Lebanon's parliament elects the president.

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

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