[24 Dec 2013] Fears of Presidential Vacuum High in Lebanon - English

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24   Dec   2013   Fears   of   Presidential   Vacuum   High   in   Lebanon   PTV   presstv   English   Lebanese   President   Michel   Suleiman   is   urging   rival   political   factions   to   ensure   the   needed   quorum   in   parliament   for   the   ele  

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is urging rival political factions to ensure the needed quorum in parliament for the election of Lebanon\\\'s next president.Suleiman\\\'s six-year-term expires in May 2014 and is preceded by a two-month constitutional period. Lebanon\\\'s first man has also kicked off talks with Lebanese rival factions in a bid to help Prime-Minister Designate \\\"Tammam Salam\\\" form a cabinet line-up prior to the two-month constitutional period. The cabinet line-up formation however has been in limbo for the past 9 months namely due to the Saudi-backed March 14 Bloc\\\'s boycott of parliamentary sessions citing Hezbollah\\\'s intervention in Syria as a pretext. The Saudi-backed March 14th Bloc is now calling for a neutral line-up while the Hezbollah-led March 8th is calling for an all-embracing cabinet while rejecting a De-Facto one. The proposal of a neutral cabinet has also been slammed by Lebanese Druze Leader Walid Jumblat who warned it would be a \\\"leap into the unknown\\\". Meanwhile, the Free Patriotic Movement has accused the March 14th Bloc of paving the way for a presidential vacuum through the continued boycott of parliamentary sessions dubbing the movement\\\'s obstruction of government institutions as part of instructions taken from their regional allies pre-Geneva II talks. The Free Patriotic Movement MP also highlighted what he described as an alarming pledge by Riyadh\\\'s ambassador to London who vowed continued military and financial support for the foreign-backed groups fighting in Syria even if Saudi Arabia goes it alone. The MP warned the March 14th Bloc of following their Saudi ally\\\'s footsteps as well. Though Lebanon\\\'s President has vowed a smooth transition of power rebuffing any attempt to extend his mandate, fears of a vacuum at the presidential post are simmering in Beirut for their grave consequences on Lebanon. Lebanese leaders are warning that the presidential vacuum added to the cabinet limbo would tow the country into security, political and constitutional chaos.

Added by PTV on 25-12-2013
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