Friday, March 11, 2005

Anger as Lebanon Reappoints Pro-Syrian Leader

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has reappointed as prime minister Omar Karami, who resigned 10 days ago in the face of massive demonstrations over the assassination of his predecessor. Mr. Karami, who is seen as a strong supporter of Syria, says he wants the opposition to join his cabinet in a government of national unity to prepare for elections in May. Mr. Karami says the opposition will be responsible for what he calls a catastrophe if they refuse his offer, and he says any delay would lead to what he terms "destruction." Opposition leaders, however, quickly rejected the offer, saying Mr. Karami is controlled by Syria and cannot be neutral in setting up the elections. Mr. Karami took office in October when former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri resigned in a dispute with President Lahoud. Mr. Hariri was killed in an explosion on February 14, leading to mass protests that forced Mr. Karami to resign two weeks later.
Omar Karami