Former Lebanese premier calls for ending presidential vacuum

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Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has called on the Lebanese to put aside differences and vote for a new president to end a vacuum that has lasted nearly two years.

Speaking at a rally Sunday marking the 11th anniversary of his father's assassination, Hariri criticized the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group without naming it.

He said the "Lebanese presidency is more important than the presidency in Syria, Iraq or Yemen," he said, in reference to the Shiite group's involvement in Syria and alleged involvement in Iraq and Yemen.

Hariri, who lives in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia and France, arrived in Lebanon to mark the occasion. He accuses Syria of murdering his father, the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, with a ton of explosives on a Beirut seaside in February 2005.