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  Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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The leader of the Lebanese parliamentary majority has asked Russia and China to help mend a domestic political rift that could derail upcoming presidential elections
The leader of the Lebanese parliamentary majority has asked Russia and China to help mend a domestic political rift that could derail upcoming presidential elections. "We are asking the Russian ambassador and the Chinese ambassador to intervene in the situation to stop those who are interfering," Saad Hariri said in an apparent reference to Syria. Without legitimate presidential elections, no UN resolutions on Lebanon can be implemented, he said. Saad Hariri, the son of assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, also urged the UN to take a firmer position on Lebanon and speed up the establishment of an international tribunal on his father's murder. The Lebanese parliament failed to elect a new president in late September following a boycott of the vote led by Islamist militant group Hezbollah. Of 128 lawmakers, only 65, representing the ruling alliance, convened for the session, falling short of the two-thirds quorum required to elect a new head of state. The current crisis has the potential to lead to two rival governments emerging, and threatens political chaos. Lebanon witnessed a devastating civil war in 1975-1990, and has seen several assassinations of Anti-Syrian politicians in recent years, starting with the murder of former Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005. If parliament is unable to elect a president by Nov. 24, Prime Minister Saniora and his Cabinet will automatically assume executive powers.
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