Lebanon parliament set to extend term amid turmoil

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Lebanon’s parliament speaker has moved to extend the term of his legislature because elections cannot be held on schedule, a sign of growing turmoil.

The decision comes as Syria’s civil war spreads into neighboring Lebanon, heightening sectarian tensions in the deeply divided country.

Lebanese politicians have been unable to agree on a law to govern elections, originally set for June 16. They say the worsening security situation has made elections impossible now.

On Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called for a Friday session to vote on extending the 128-seat legislature’s term.

Lebanon is one of the few countries in the region to hold free regular elections. Friday’s extension would mark the first time that parliament has had to extend its term since the nation’s 1975-90 civil war.

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