The presidential election in Lebanon has been postponed until Friday to give rival political factions more time to agree on a candidate.

Parliament speaker Nabih Berri announced the delay in a statement, saying the balloting in parliament was moved from Wednesday to Friday.  The delay is the fourth time voting has been postponed.

The pro-Western governing coalition and the Hezbollah-led opposition are at odds over who will succeed pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term ends Friday night.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Arab League chief Amr Moussa are in Lebanon holding talks with both sides.

Lebanon's government has threatened to use its simple parliamentary majority to elect one of its own members if the factions do not agree on a candidate.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Lebanon last week and called on leaders there to set aside their differences and elect a new president.

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