UN chief urges Lebanese PM and parliament speaker to reconcile

September 19, 2007 03:42

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Lebanon's prime minister and parliament speaker to reconcile and try to elect a new president, warning that failure could lead to two governments and two presidents which is "unacceptable." Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's US-backed government has been locked in a fierce power struggle for months with the pro-Syrian, pro-Iranian opposition, led by the military group Hizbullah and backed by opposition-aligned Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. It is the most serious political crisis since the end of the 1975-90 civil war. Berri has set September 25 for parliament to meet to start voting on a new head of state to replace Emile Lahoud, whose term ends November 24, but the dispute could throw the country into chaos and even result in two parallel, competing administrations.

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