Citing the continuing civil war in neighboring Syria, Lebanese lawmakers have agreed to put off elections scheduled for June by 17 months. Spillover violence into Lebanon had raised serious doubts about the poll.
Friday's decision by Lebanese parliamentarians also cited ongoing political deadlock in the country as a reason for pushing back the election to November 2014. The move amounts to parliament effectively extending its own session. Contentious election reform measures were also unlikely to be completed by the June election.
"Security and political tensions prevent the holding of an election campaign," read the motion passed on Friday.
Violence from the conflict in Syria has spilled over into Lebanon. Members of the militant Hezbollah movement - which is backed by Lebanon - have openly taken part in fighting on the Syrian-Lebanese border. Supporters of both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels who oppose him have also clashed in the Lebanese city of Tripoli. Lebanese troops have been deployed to patrol potential flash points.
Several dozen people have been killed in Lebanon as a result of the two-year conflict in Syria. Lebanon has also experienced a surge of Syrian refugees since the conflict began.
mz/jr (Reuters, AP, AFP)