Speaking after a meeting of about 70 opposition legislators and party members on Thursday, lawmaker Ghattas Khury called on caretaker Prime Minister Umar Karami to give up the job of trying to form a new cabinet and allow the president to appoint somebody else.

The opposition, which met at the west Beirut home of the late prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, blamed Lebanese President Emile Lahud and parliament speaker Nabih Birri for the political crisis in Lebanon and said that Karami's actions were "anti-constitutional".

"The Lebanese-Syrian security authority, with its political and constitutional symbols, is working to sabotage the parliamentary polls in a dangerous attempt to extend the term of the current parliament, illegally and unconstitutionally," Khury said, reading from a statement written after nearly three hours of discussion.

It held Karami, who has said he will step down but delayed the move at least until Friday, "personally and directly responsible for the cycle of violence which has hit the country and for its repercussions".

The opposition says its priority is to see the legislative elections held on time. But for that there needs to be a government that will steer a new electoral law through parliament.