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Lebanon Anti-Syrian Coalition Urges President to Resign

Lebanon's anti-Syrian coalition on Thursday accused President Emile Lahoud of being responsible for a series of political assassinations and urged him to resign.

The gathering affirms that the president is providing protection for the existing system and is responsible for all its practices, said a statement by the coalition, which makes up the majority in parliament. "The president's departure would be a main path to law and justice," it added.

Emile Lahoud had reportedly said earlier that he would not resign in his presidential term, which was extended last year until 2007. The demand for him to end his presidency goes against the constitution, he said.

The existing system is behind a series of assassinations, including the most recent of former Communist leader Georges Hawi and anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir, argued parliamentary members from the anti-Syrian coalition, who called for international investigations into the killings.

Hawi was killed by a car bomb on Tuesday while Samir Kassir was killed when his car exploded on June 2. Former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in a February attack on the Beirut seafront.
Led by Saad Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier, the anti-Syrian coalition won a majority in parliament in Lebanon's four-stage parliamentary election that ended on Monday, pocketing 72 of the total 128 seats.

(Xinhua News Agency June 24, 2005)

Anti-Syrian Politician Assassinated in Beirut
Hariri's Bloc Wins Landslide Victory in Election
Int'l Community Condemns Killing of Lebanese Reporter
Syria Completes Troop Withdrawal from Lebanon
Lebanese PM-designate Forms New Cabinet
Lebanon New PM Vows to Maintain National Unity
Lebanese President Pledges to End Violence
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