Lebanese parliament postpones election, sparks protest

June 1, 2013 01:37


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BEIRUT - Lebanese lawmakers decided on Friday to extend their term by 16 months until November next year, postponing a scheduled June parliamentary election, because of political deadlock and violence spilling over from neighboring Syria's civil war.

The move, criticized by the United States and the United Nations, provoked a protest in a main square near the parliament. Demonstrators garbed in black carried signs saying they were in mourning for the democratic process in Lebanon and some threw tomatoes at convoys of politicians driving past.

Coupled with the failure of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam to form a government after two months of talks, the deferral of the vote deepened a sense of dangerous drift and disarray in Lebanon at a time of economic slowdown, increasing sectarian violence and a refugee influx from Syria.

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