Lebanese Prime Minister steps down

April 15, 2005

Prime Minister of Lebanon, Omar Karami, stepped down yet again Thursday, April 14 after failing to reach a consensus in negotiations on candidates to fill key cabinet positions necessary for scheduled elections to take place in May.

Karami said he could no longer work with President Emile Lahoud. Both were pro-Syria, the country that has maintained a military presence in Lebanon for 29 years.

Syria is now withdrawing its forces from the country. A general election for a new government is planned to be held in May, although a functioning government is required to oversee the polls. Temporary Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh warned that delaying the elections could lead to unrest and called for the polls to still be held next month.

Opposition leaders have accused the government attempting to delay the polls, and have warned of street protests if the situation is not quickly resolved.