Lebanon parliament extends mandate as Syria war rages

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Lebanon's parliament was to vote Friday to extend its mandate by 17 months after failing to adopt a new election law at a time of deep divisions over the war in neighboring Syria.

The motion, submitted by independent Christian MP Nicolas Fattouche, was expected to win more than 100 votes in the 128-member house with almost all parliamentary groups having voiced their support.

“The term of the mandate of the legislature will be modified on an exceptional basis to end on November 20, 2014,” rather than this June 20 as scheduled, it reads.

The motion to extend the normal four-year term was due to “the security situation in several Lebanese regions that gives rise to political escalation and division which often take on confessional forms.”

“Security and political tensions prevent the holding of an election campaign,” it said.

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