Lebanon urged to end presidential vacuum

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Special Envoy for Lebanon Terje Roed-Larsen speaks to reporters at the Security Council stakeout. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Leaders in Lebanon are being urged to set aside their differences to make way for the election of a president, the out-going UN envoy for the country has said.

Lebanon has now been without a Head of State or military chief for two years.

The president has to secure a two-thirds majority vote in parliament to be elected, but a consensus has failed, according to media reports.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The two-year presidential vacuum has a negative effect on the ability of the country to make important decisions, UN envoy Terje Rød-Larsen said.

The paralysis undermines the institutions that have proven effective in running the country, he added.

Security Council Resolution 1559 adopted in 2004 allowed for free and fair elections in Lebanon and a withdrawal of foreign forces.

However, some provisions are lagging behind and the failure to implement them may erode the progress achieved so far.

"The most outstanding provision of 1559 is the disbandment of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia. Since 2004, not only have the militias' presence and activities continued, but if anything they have expanded. Their growing capabilities are a source of concern. They represent a major and very dangerous feat to Lebanon's sovereignty, stability and political independence."

The assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 has further contributed to instability.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’11”

 

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