Report: Syria wants Lahoud for Lebanese president
Lebanon-Syria, Politics, 9/30/1998
The Jordanian daily al-Doustour said on Tuesday that despite the top "secrecy," surrounding the visits of the Lebanese officials to Damascus amid talks about Presidential elections, information leaked by certain visitors says that commander of the Lebanese Army, Lt. Gen. Emil Lahoud, may be the next Lebanese President.
In an article by its correspondent in Damascus, Fuad Hamira, the paper added that well-informed sources ruled out that Damascus is thinking of an extension of the term of the current president, Elias Hrawi.
The sources noted what had been said by Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam to some of his visitors that Lebanon has become of need of a new president that Damascus will be pleased with. Visitors to Damascus quoted Khaddam as saying that September is the month of consultations and October is the month of elections.
Al-Doustour added that certain sources have noted a closeness maintained between Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and Lahoud -- a closeness that seems to have come at a Syrian request and that indicates that Lahoud will be the strongest candidate for the Lebanese presidency in Syrian eyes.
However, a constitutional amendment is needed in Lebanon to allow Lahoud to run for office.
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