US asks Lebanon's parliament to hurry with election of new president

The United States scolded members of Lebanon's parliament Friday for failing again to elect a president. "The United States regrets the attempts by some MPs to link nonconstitutional measures to presidential elections," Gonzalo Gallegos, director of the press office, said in a statement. "It is bad for all of Lebanon's people, and for the sovereignty and freedom of the nation, to be deprived of a president. Lawmakers had appeared to have agreed on Gen. Michel Suleiman as a compromise president to replace President Emile Lahoud, who stepped down Nov. 23. Gallegos said the United States urges parliament members and ministers to do quickly what is necessary to elect a president and return to normalcy.