11 December 2007
Security Council
SC/9195

Department of Public Information
News and Media Division - New York
Security Council
5799th Meeting (Night)

Security Council stresses deep concern at repeated postponements of presidential election in Lebanon
Presidential Statement Emphasizes Political Impasse Could Lead to Further Deterioration of Situation

The Security Council today stressed its deep concern at the repeated postponements of the presidential election in Lebanon, emphasizing that the ongoing political impasses might lead to further deterioration of the situation in Lebanon.

In a statement read by Council President Marcello Spatafora ( Italy), the Council reiterated its call for the holding, without delay, of a free and fair presidential election without anyforeign interference or influence and with full respect for democratic institutions.

The Council called upon all Lebanese political parties to continue to exercise restraint and to show responsibility with a view to preventing, through dialogue, further deterioration of the situation in Lebanon.

The Council, therefore, commended the course adopted by the democratically-elected Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces in carrying out their respective responsibilities in the period until the presidential election would occur.

The meeting started at 7:10 p.m. and was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

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Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2007/46 reads as follows:

"The Security Council stresses its deep concern at the repeated postponements of the presidential election in Lebanon.

"It emphasizes that the ongoing political impasse does not serve the interest of the Lebanese people and may lead to further deterioration of the situation in Lebanon.

"The Security Council reiterates its call for the holding, without delay, of a free and fair presidential election in conformity with Lebanese constitutional rules, without any foreign interference or influence, and with full respect for democratic institutions.

"It emphasizes the importance of Lebanese constitutional institutions, including the Government of Lebanon, as well as the importance of the unity of the Lebanese people in particular on the basis of reconciliation and political dialogue.

"It calls upon all Lebanese political parties to continue to exercise restraint and to show responsibility with a view to preventing, through dialogue, further deterioration of the situation in Lebanon.

"The Security Council therefore commends the course adopted by the democratically-elected Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces in carrying out their respective responsibilities in the period until the presidential election occurs.

"The Security Council reiterates its call for the full implementation of all its resolutions on Lebanon."

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UN Security Council Concerned Over Delayed Lebanon Vote -AFP
Written by AFP, UN
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
UN Security Council
UNITED NATIONS (AFP)--The UN Security Council on Tuesday passed a non-binding resolution expressing "deep concern" at the repeated postponement of the presidential election in Lebanon.
The text reiterated the 15-member body's call "for the holding, without delay, of a free and fair presidential election in conformity with Lebanese constitutional rules, without any foreign interference on influence."
Earlier Tuesday, a Lebanese parliament session to elect the army chief, General Michel Sleiman, as president was postponed for the eighth time amid a tug-of-war between rival politicians and fears a vote could be delayed until March.
After weeks of bitter haggling, rival leaders have agreed on Sleiman for the top job but are still divided on how to amend the constitution to allow his election and on the make-up of a new cabinet.
Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri, in a statement issued shortly before midnight, said the session would be postponed until December 17 "to allow for more consultations to agree on the election".
The Security Council statement, which was read out by Italy's UN Ambassador Marcello Spatafora, the council chair this month, urged "all Lebanese parties to continue to exercise restraint and to show responsibility with a view to preventing, through dialogue, further deterioration of the situation."
Council members had haggled for two days over the wording of a paragraph that would have expressed support for the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.
In a compromise, they agreed to commend "the course adopted by the democratically-elected government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces in carrying out their respective responsibilities in the period until the presidential election occurs."
The Hezbollah-led opposition wants an overall political understanding before any presidential election, including agreement on the shape and leadership of the next government, to ensure they are well-represented.
But the majority says that political issues should be discussed after a president is elected.
The stalemate has sparked fears of renewed unrest in a country still recovering from its 1975-1990 civil war.
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Security Council voices concern at repeated delays to Lebanese presidential poll
Security Council
11 December 2007 The Security Council today expressed its "deep concern" at the repeated postponement of the Lebanese presidential election, warning that the delays do not serve the interests of the people of the Middle Eastern country and could lead to a further deterioration of an already tense situation.
Speaking on behalf of the Council, Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy read out a presidential statement in which the 15-member body reiterated its previous calls for free and fair polls to be held without delay or foreign interference and inline with Lebanese constitutional procedures.
The statement stressed that all sides to the current stand-off must exercise restraint and pursue dialogue to prevent a worsening of the political climate.
Mr. Spatafora also commended the Government and the national armed forces for agreeing to carry out their work in line with their constitutional responsibilities until elections can be held.
Last week Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also voiced concern at the repeated delays at electing a president to succeed Emile Lahoud and urged Lebanon's political leaders to fulfil their responsibility to find a solution.