Lebanon: Security up ahead of replacement vote

August 4, 2007 18:48

Lebanon's security forces were on high alert Saturday in anticipation of violence ahead of a vote to replace two assassinated lawmakers that has deeply divided the nation's Christian community. Sunday's elections will produce successors for cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, a Christian shot dead in November, and lawmaker Walid Eido, who died in a Beirut car bomb in June, both allies of the current government. The elections could escalate the country's deepening political crisis since Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's Western-backed government called them without the required approval of President Emile Lahoud, who has blocked attempts to replace the lawmakers. Lahoud is allied with the Hizbullah-led opposition, as is Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who has said he will not recognize the results of the contests.

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