Impasse over President Sparks Crisis in Lebanon

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Lebanon faces a new political crisis after its parliament postponed a session Friday to elect a new president. The delay, until next week, is meant to allow more time for lawmakers from rival factions to reach a consensus on a new head of state.

In Lebanon, the president is not elected by a popular vote, but rather by negotiations among the country's various political groups.

Despite intense international pressure and mediation, members of the two main factions have failed to agree on a compromise candidate.

These two groups have paralyzed the Lebanese state for the past year. The Western-backed coalition holds tiny majority in parliament. The opposition movement is led by Syria and Iran's ally, Hezbollah, and has boycotted parliament meetings and held protests aimed at toppling the Western-backed coalition's prime minister from power.

Current Lebanese President Emile Lahoud is expected to step down at midnight tonight and temporary power is expected to pass to the country's cabinet.

Ivan Watson in Beirut talks to Renee Montagne about the latest developments.



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