In Lebanon remained empty for two years President took the 81-year-old General Maronite supported Hezbollah
In Lebanon, the Parliament elected the leader of the party “Free Patriotic movement” 81-year-old retired General Michel Aoun to the post of President, vacant for more than two years since may 25, 2014 at the end of his term retired Michel Suleiman, reported the BBC. He received 83 votes in favour of the 128 possible.
It was the 46th attempt to elect the head of state, 45 times the vote was postponed for lack of quorum. The current vote was held in two rounds – the first failed to gain the two-thirds majority, 86 of the 127.
Christian politics Aoun supported a powerful Shiite paramilitary group Hezbollah, which the soldiers now fighting on the side of the government army in Syria. His candidacy was blocked by rivals of the Sunni “future Movement”, but in October they were able to negotiate. The General has received the support of the leader of the future Movement, Saad Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was ousted in 2011. Now, reportedly, he will again take the position at Aune.
Demonstration in support of Aung were carried out in the southern suburbs of Beirut populated mainly by followers of the organization “Hezbollah”, as well as in Damascus, where the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad supported the candidacy of the new President.
The system of division of power in the country suggests that the President should always be elected from the Maronite, that is, members of the community of the Maronite Catholic Church. This community is owned and Aoun and his rival, the leader of the party “that’s marada” Suleiman Franjieh.
Parliament two years could not agree on the nomination, which would have made the party of Muslims and Christians. Confrontation, as noted by The Guardian, is rooted in the rivalry between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was against the nomination of Aoun for fear that it would increase the influence of Iran, and sponsored by Hariri and Franjieh, but this year, confidence in them has waned, and recently in Riyadh stated that they agree to accept General Aoun in case of his election as President.
According to TASS, the current vote was watched on television by the whole country. For many Lebanese, the election of Aoun opens the hope for long-awaited changes. The General has repeatedly stated that it “intends to return to the Lebanese Christians the role they ought to play in public Affairs”.
Local expert Sargis Nahum believes that overcoming the political vacuum in Lebanon “will have a positive impact on inter-confessional situation in the middle East.” In his opinion, the election of Aung impact including on the Syrian settlement. “Through Beirut can open a dialog between Damascus and the West”, – said Naum.
After taking the oath in the Parliament the leader of the SPD will go today with a motorcade at the Baabda Palace. It will be exciting moment for the General and his associates. In 1988, at the last stage of the civil war (1975-1990) Aung, as commander of the Lebanese army, declared himself the military ruler of the country and took Baabda.
Two years later, Syrian troops entered Lebanon as a peacekeeping force (by decision of the League of Arab States), suppressed a military rebellion. Aung fled to France and was able to return home only in the 2005 wave of the so-called cedar revolution – socio-political movement for the restoration of democracy.
As the largest Christian politician Aung tried to fight for the presidency in 2007, however, the result of a compromise agreement between the political parties in Baabda settled General Michel Suleiman. Under the mediation of France and Qatar, he was nominated as a consensus candidate for intra-Lebanese conference held in Doha in 2008.
Lebanese President according to the Constitution is “the head of state and symbol of unity of the country.” As commander in chief he is subject to the Armed forces of the Republic.