Lebanon’s parliament set to elect president amid tight security

May 25th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin  

Beirut, May 25 (DPA) Lebanon’s parliament is set to convene Sunday to elect army chief General Michel Suleiman as president amid tight security measures. The election is regarded as a step that will end 18 months of political crisis that has brought the country to the brink of an all-out civil war.

Hundreds of security troops have been deployed on the main road leading to Beirut’s international airport to secure safe passage for all officials.

The army has also set up checkpoints and sealed off Beirut’s downtown area where lawmakers will meet at 5 pm (1400 GMT) to vote for consensus candidate Suleiman.

Foreign dignitaries, including Arab and European foreign ministers, are expected to attend Sunday’s session.

The vote has been postponed 19 times since November when President Emile Lahoud stepped down without a successor.

The election comes after a deal brokered by Qatar between Lebanon’s Western-backed government and Hezbollah-led opposition in five days of talks in Doha.

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