Lebanon PM Tries to Ease Fears of Unrest

He takes control as nation begins stretch without president
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2007 12:52 PM CST
Two Lebanese cameramen, recording the empty presidential chair after the former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud stepped down late Friday without a successor, at the Presidential palace in the Beirut suburb...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Lebanon's PM called for calm today and said his cabinet would run the nation while it remains without a president, Reuters reports. Fouad Siniora also pledged to push for quick elections. The developments come a day after President Emile Lahoud's term ended without a successor in place. Siniora rejected Lahoud's bid to transfer power to the military in the interim.

"When the presidency is vacant, the powers of the presidency devolve to the cabinet, which is the legitimate and constitutional cabinet," Siniora said. Western and Arab powers including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan are likely to recognize the cabinet's claim, Reuters notes. Daily life in Beirut remained stable despite the turmoil.