DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. October 31, 2016, 4:12 PM (IDT)
A former army chief, Michel Aoun, 81, who emerges as Lebanon’s strongest Christian leader was elected by a parliamentary majority. Parliament had failed to reach a quorum for two and a half years owing to the boycott of his Change and Reform bloc, along with Hizballah and other March 8 parties. Ten years ago he entered into an alliance with his former rival, Shiite Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, followed by reconciliation with Syria’s Bashar Assad. A former army chief, former General Aoun’s appointment was backed by leading Lebanese factions. Sunni leader Said Hariri and the Christian Phalanges’ Samir Geagea. He is Lebanon’s first Christian president to enjoy Hizballah backing.
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