BEIRUT — Lebanon's defense minister has extended the term of the army commander, the latest sign of growing political turmoil and paralysis in a country consumed by the war in neighboring Syria.

Defense minister Fayez Ghosn signed a decree Wednesday that would keep the country's army chief, Gen. Jean Kahwaji, in the post for two more years after politicians failed to agree on whether the parliament should meet to extend his mandate.

The prime minister is expected to sign the decree later Wednesday to make the extension official.

In May, the parliament extended its mandate by a year and a half by skipping scheduled elections largely because of the instability in the country.

Politicians also have been unable to form a new government since outgoing premier Najib Mikati resigned in March.