Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic Press Digest - May 11, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to The Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Gemayel continues his 'difficult' meetings, Aoun and Geagea do not fear a vacuum

Both camps from those who announced and refrained from announcing their presidential bid prefer a temporary vacuum over an alternative their fear. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has repeated that he preferred a vacuum over handing Lebanon over to Hezbollah while sources in the Change and Reform bloc have sought to take their time until an agreement is reached on a president.

A political figure who has met figures of the March 8 and the March 14 coalitions said that both groups do not fear what might come after May 25 in case no president is elected because the government can administer the country temporarily.

But Kataeb head Amine Gemayel has another take on the matter. Sources told An-Nahar that his meetings with his rivals and allies were difficult but they opened lines of communication important for this phase.

"He did not propose himself as an alternative candidate," the source said.


No quorum in Thursday's session, Russia's envoy: Election will take place a little bit after the deadline

The fate of Thursday's presidential election session is similar to previous ones in which a quorum was not secured and no agreement was reached on a candidate. Therefore, the election will not be held without an agreement and until now that does not exist and the country will plunge into a vacuum but not for long, according to the Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin.

"The presidential electing will be held even a little after the end of the constitutional deadline," he said.

His remarks match local ones that the election will be held in September, knowing that Parliament only has five months until the end of its mandate because the call for the election based on the 1960 law should be made on Aug. 20. Disputes will arise because of a split between political parties on the electoral law and other disputes will also surface with regards to the Cabinet's prerogative in the absence of a president.

Some are depending on the Iran-U.S. meeting on May 13 as part of the P5+1 conference and that the election in Lebanon will be discussed between American and Iranian officials.

Ash-Sharq al-Awsat

IMF sounds alarm over obstacles as a result of continued influx of refugees

The International monetary Fund sounded the alarm over the unprecedented influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, which it said has weakened its economy, calling on the international community to increase its support for the country. Meanwhile, the U.N. refugee agency said 1,005,363 had so far registered with the agency.

While tens of random tents are scattered in several parts of Lebanon particularly in the Bekaa and the north, which host the largest number, the proposal to establish refugee camps still requires a political decision and international support.

In a bid to organize the presence of the refugees, the government has in recent weeks begun implementing stricter measures in monitoring the entrance of the refugees from Syria.





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