WASHINGTON - Saad Hariri, son of slain Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, charges that Syria is using assassination to prevent political stability in Lebanon.
In an interview published Friday in The Washington Post, Hariri, a member of parliament, said that Syria hopes to disrupt Lebanon's presidential elections. Hariri was in the United States for a meeting with President George Bush.
"At the end of the day, what the Syrians want is terrorism, and what we want is democracy," he said. "If we do not succeed as a moderate democracy in the region, there will only be terrorism and extremist regimes like Syria will flourish."
The Lebanese legislature must select a president within seven weeks. A candidate can win with a two-thirds majority on the first round or with a simple majority of 65 percent in a second vote. Six members of parliament allied to Hariri have been killed in recent weeks.
The government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has been frozen by a boycott by Syrian-backed opposition parties.
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