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The Parliament of Lebanon elected on Monday Gen. Michel Aoun, the head of the Reform and Change Bloc, as President of Lebanon. Aoun received 83 votes out of the votes of 127 MPs who attended the electoral session, with 36 of the remaining votes being blank ballots while 8 were ruled non-valid. Afterwards, Aoun took the constitutional oath as President, ending the vacancy in the Presidency of Lebanon that lasted since the end of the term of former President Michel Sleiman on May 25, 2014.


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Lebanese Parliament elected General Michel Aoun,
ending a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum

The head of Free Patriotic Movement was elected in a second round during a Parliamentary session. In the first round, a quorum of two-thirds majority of the 128-parliament was not secured. Aoun won 84 votes, while there were 36 white ballots and 7 others.

A second round took place at the Parliament, where Aoun secured 83 votes, and there were 36 white ballots and 8 others. 83 votes were enough to secure a 50 percent plus one quorum in the second round.

In addition to Lebanese MPs and ministers, the election session was attended by diplomats and dignitaries from across the world.

Following his election, the session attendees erupted into applause, welcoming the new president.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since former President Michel Sleiman’s term ended in May 2014, without an agreement on a replacement.

Aoun has been a running candidate from the beginning, backed by Hezbollah, who repeatedly reiterated that the 81-year-old veteran Christian leader is qualified for such post.

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New President in Inaugural Speech: Lebanon to Cope
with Corruption, Preemptively Fight Terrorism

The Lebanese elected President General Michel Aoun delivered the inaugural speech in the parliament after he had taken the office oath.

President Aoun affirmed the importance of approving a new electoral law which fairly represents all the Lebanese segments, noting that coping with corruption will be the main  goal of the governmental institutions.

He also highlighted the importance of the resistance in liberating the Lebanese territories occupied by the Zionist army, adding that Lebanon will resort to preemptive deterrence in dealing with the terrorist threat.

President Aoun further said that there must be an imminent solution for the cause of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Lebanese members of parliament elected on Monday MP General Michel Aoun, ending a two-and-a-half-year power vacuum.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since former President Michel Sleiman’s term ended  in May 2014, without an agreement on a replacement.


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Israeli Media: Hezbollah ‘Biggest Winner’
As Lebanon Elects Aoun President

Israeli daily “Israel Today” said that the election of General Michel Aoun means that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is the ‘biggest winner’.

The election of a Lebanese president or even designating a prime minister means nothing, the Israeli daily said, adding: “what means is that (former PM) Saad al-Hariri bowed to decisions dictated by (Sayyed) Nasrallah.”

The white banner raised by Hariri and Saudi Arabia allows Nasrallah and the Iranians to impose their own agenda in Lebanon, according to “Israel Today”.

“It’s time for our flags to fly at half-mast,” the daily said regarding Hariri’s going back on his word regarding the presidential elections in Lebanon.

For its part, Israeli daily, Haaretz, said on Sunday that Hezbollah was satisfied with the recent developments because the internal accord weakens the Saudi role.

Haaretz quoted Israeli commentators as saying that the presidential race in Lebanon has been a hand-to-hand combat between Iran and Saudi.

On the other hand, Ynet said that General Micehl Aoun “is bad news for Israel.”

If Aoun was elected …“he will be the one to select the country’s prime minister and dictate its foreign affairs; as far as Israel is concerned, this means quite a headache.”

This “will mean quite the headache: Iran will expand its foothold in Lebanon, no one will bother to demand that Hezbollah disarm and hand its weapons over to the state, and the the Saudis will be furious, as Israel’s alert level concerning Lebanon will move one step up.”.

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