Renewed fighting erupted in Beirut on Friday (30 April) as the Lebanese Parliament postponed for one week the election of a new president, originally scheduled for Saturday (1 May).
GV and LV: Beirut waterfront area with smoke rising (3 shots)
/GV AND LV: debris in streets with militiaman patrolling (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Taylors dummy among debris TO militiaman looking round corner
SV Militiamen patrol along street
SV Militiaman runs across road under protection of barricade
SV and CU Militiamen firing automatic weapons from doorways (3 shots)
CU Militiaman in doorway
LV Militiaman walks across rubble - littered street and runs under covered barricade.
SV Militiaman walks past wrecked shops.
Initials RH/1655 RH/PK/MR/1712
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Background: Renewed fighting erupted in Beirut on Friday (30 April) as the Lebanese Parliament postponed for one week the election of a new president, originally scheduled for Saturday (1 May).
According to Reuters the fresh outbreak of violence was a blow by Syrian peace efforts. While parliament debated the presidency question, fighting between rival factions of militiamen became general in the city's commercial district and port area.
Reuters quoted parliamentary officials as saying that the delay in the election of a new president was requested by at least 60 of the 90 deputies in parliament, whose duty it is elect a new Head of State.
The postponement announcement followed a declaration from left-wing leader, Mr. Kamal Jumblatt, that his supporters would only allow parliament to elect a candidate acceptable to all the people and who was prepared to adopt the leftist's reform programme. The right-wing Interior Minister, Mr. Camille Chamoun also called for a postponement.
So far, there are two named candidates for the presidency which, under the Lebanese Constitution, is always held by a Maronite Christian. The candidate favoured by Mr. Jumblatt is Mr. Raymond Edde, while the candidate preferred by most right-wing leaders -- except Mr. Chamoun -- is Mr. Elias Sarkis, the Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank. The race between Mr. Edde and Mr. Sarkis has been complicated by the announcement of a third, as yet un-named, candidate by the party supporting the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Mr. Kamel Assad.
SYNOPSIS: Beirut, where on Friday, renewed fighting erupted as the Lebanese parliament postponed for one week the election of successor to President Suleiman Franjieh.
The fresh outbreak of fighting was a setback to Syrian peace efforts, leaving at least 20 people dead and 36 wounded. Parliamentary officials said that the postponement was requested by 60 of the 90 deputies in the Lebanese Parliament.
With fighting between rival militiamen becoming general in the port area and commercial district, the left-wing leader, Mr. Kamal Jumblatt warned that the violence could increase dramatically.
Mr. Jumblatt declared that his supporters would only allow parliament to elect a new president acceptable to all the people, who would carry out the leftist's reform programme.
A postponement was also supported by right-wing Interior Minister, Mr. Camille Chamoun. So far, there are two named presidential candidate -- Mr. Raymond Edde, favoured by the left, and Mr. Elias Sarkis, preferred by the right.