Lebanon's government approves new elections law

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The Lebanese Cabinet has approved a new elections law and referred it to parliament for ratification, paving the way for parliamentary elections postponed twice over the past year.

During Wednesday's government meeting that approved the new law, the term of the current parliament was extended 11 months until May 6, 2018 when the vote is scheduled.

The current parliament was elected to a four-year term in 2009, but its tenure has been extended twice over security concerns and the civil war in neighboring Syria that spilled into Lebanon on several occasions.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri praised the new elections law as a "historic achievement."

The agreement came days before the legislature's term was to end on June 20 — avoiding sending the country into a fresh political crisis.