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Lebanese parliament elects new president, ending vacuum

/ 11:36 PM October 31, 2016
People walk past posters of Christian leader Michel Aoun in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Aoun, an 81-year-old veteran politician, is set to be elected by Parliament on Monday as part of a political deal that's expected to be another boost for President Bashar Assad in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

People walk past posters of Christian leader Michel Aoun in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Aoun, an 81-year-old veteran politician, is set to be elected by Parliament on Monday as part of a political deal that’s expected to be another boost for President Bashar Assad in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s parliament has elected Michel Aoun, a former army commander and strong ally of Hezbollah, as president, ending a more than two-year vacuum in the country’s top post.

Aoun secured a simple majority of votes in the house after a chaotic session that saw several rounds of voting because extra ballots appeared in the ballot box each time. He garnered 83 votes out of 127 lawmakers present at the session.

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He also failed to get elected by a two thirds majority in the first round, as had been widely expected.

Aoun’s election is seen by many as a clear victory for the pro-Iranian axis in the Middle East, giving a boost to Hezbollah and the Shiite Lebanese group’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad. TVJ

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TAGS: Beirut, Hezbollah, Lebanese parliament, Lebanon, Michel Aoun, Syrian President Bashar Assad
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