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Saturday, April 23, 2005 

Election called, security chiefs quit

Two main opposition demands were met today. Lebanese prime Minister Najib Al-Miqati has called the election for May 29th. He said that even if Parliament does not approve the date, he will go ahead without their approval. It was feared the pro-Syrian parliament would try to delay the elections.

Also today Maj Gen Jamil Sayyed and Maj Gen Ali Hajj - two of Lebanon's Chiefs of Security resigned.

That means all of the opposition's demands have been met: elections by the end of May, an international inquiry into Hariri's death, the resignation of the heads of security, and the withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence.

The Lebanese Security forces were said to be loyal to Syria, and complicit in Syria's involvement in the country. Some Lebanese blamed them - directly or indirectly - for Hariri's death. And the UN condemned them for a flawed investigation into the murder.

New Prime Minister Najib Al-Miqati had been calling for their resignation. Unlike former PM Omar Karami, Miqati has the support of the opposition as well as being close to Syria.

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