Lebanon prepares to elect president

Lebanon was preparing Saturday to elect a new president after a six-month delay amid hopes that the appointment will bring unity and stability to the politically-deadlocked country, reported dpa.

Some 127 MPs were poised to elect army commander General Michel Suleiman, 59, as president on Sunday at a parliamentary session that would be attended by 200 dignitaries, among them the foreign ministers of Syria and Iran as well as a US congressional delegation.

Other foreign dignitaries expected to attend included Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa, as well as foreign and Arab ambassadors in Lebanon.

The streets were full of red and white Lebanese flags as well as pictures of the incoming president.

"Lebanon awaits the leader" said a placard with a large picture of the new president.

In Amsheet, 40 kilometres north of Beirut, and the hometown of the new president, red and white balloons floated over the streets and pictures of the new president were on every balcony.

"Amsheet is awaiting the election of its son as president to unite Lebanon and help Lebanon pass on to a new phase of stability and peace," said Nazem al Khoury, a close friend of the president.

The family house of the future president was also covered with his pictures and Lebanese flags.

People on the streets on Amsheet expressed their happiness and said " Amsheet is awaiting Sunday with love and festivities to welcome the new president."

Qatari mediation during talks in Doha brokered a deal on Wednesday which ended Lebanon political crisis. Earlier this month the standoff degenerated into violence, killing 82 people and pushing Lebanon to the brink of another civil war.

Ali Hamdan, spokesman for parliament speaker Nabih Berri, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that around 200 dignitaries were invited to attend the election session.

Prime Minister Fouad Seniora, who enjoys the support of Arab countries as well as the US and the West, and members of his current cabinet have also been invited to attend.

Hamdan said a US congressional delegation had been invited and would be headed by Representative Nick Rahal, a West Virginia Democrat of Lebanese origin.

"The speaker wants this election to represent the unity and reconciliation wedding of Lebanon," Hamdan said.

Suleiman will have tough challenges to tackle during his six-year term.

The Doha accord called for Suleiman's election, a national unity government in which the opposition has veto power and a new law for parliamentary elections due next year.

According to the Lebanese daily An Nahar on Saturday, the electoral law will not be amended during Sunday's session as earlier was reported.

Despite the fact that that the Doha accord brought the country back from the brink of civil war, it failed to address many key issues, including the weapons of the militant Hezbollah movement.

Under the deal, Suleiman will choose three ministers in the new 30-member cabinet and he will head a dialogue between the Lebanese opposition and the ruling majority during which the Hezbollah arsenal will be discussed.

Suleiman was quoted by An Nahar as saying Saturday that "I cannot save the country on my own ... this mission requires the efforts of all."

"Security in the country is not achieved by force, but by a joint political will."

Suleiman has managed in his nearly 10 years as armed forces chief to take a neutral stand from all rival parties in the country and to keep the army united despite the political bickering that has prevailed in the country for the past 18 months.

The Lebanese political crisis started in November 2006 when six pro-Syrian ministers quit the cabinet in a bid to force the force ruling bloc to give the opposition more representation in the government.

The Lebanese parliament has failed 19 times to elect a president due to the political deadlock. The presidential office has been vacant since November 23, 2007 when pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud ended his term.

Suleiman, who hails from the Maronite Christian community from which Lebanon's presidents are usually chosen according to the constitution, believes that religion should not play a key role in Lebanon's politics.

The Lebanese standoff has been widely linked to regional differences pitting the United States against Syria and Iran.

Suleiman joined the army in 1967, following in the footsteps of his father, a member of the Internal Security Forces.

He graduated from the military academy in 1970 and moved up the ranks until being appointed to the job in December 1998. He will be the third military man to become president of Lebanon after Fouad Chehab in the 1960s and Lahoud.

He is expected to win some 110 votes in the 127-seat parliament - some MPs have objected to a military man becoming president.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Uzbekistan exports $625 million worth of fruits and vegetables in 9 months
Uzbekistan exports $625 million worth of fruits and vegetables in 9 months
Uzbekistan plans to exempt import and sale of meat products from VAT
Uzbekistan plans to exempt import and sale of meat products from VAT
Uzbekistan to produce its first electric cars
Uzbekistan to produce its first electric cars
Loading Bars
U.S. remains prepared to engage with DPRK after missile test: White House
UK foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar
Israel detects 1st case of COVID-19 Delta variant "AY4.2"
Bomb threat issued in Washington DC
U.S. secretary of homeland security tests positive for COVID-19 after full vaccination
North Korea confirms it launched SLBM
Israel says Abu Dhabi crown prince invites Israeli PM for 1st official visit
Volkswagen executive sees global chip shortage running well into 2022
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry makes Twitter post in connection with anniversary of liberation from occupation of Zangilan (PHOTO)
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation due to liberation of Zangilan on October 20, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 20, 2020
U.S. workers face layoffs as U.S COVID-19 vaccine mandates kick in
21 passengers escape plane safely after crash in Texas, officials say
Facebook to pay up to $14.25 mln to settle U.S. employment discrimination claims
Azerbaijan discloses names of returned Armenian servicemen
Uzbekistan exports $625 million worth of fruits and vegetables in 9 months
UK records highest daily COVID death toll since early March
Ukrainian Bees Airline plans to launch Odessa-Tbilisi-Odessa flights starting October 22
Iranian official dismisses 'tensions' at Astara customs, says activity with Azerbaijan soars
Turkmenistan starts rice harvest in Dashoguz region
Azerbaijan supports all int’l efforts to ensure transparency in extractive industries – minister
Refining activity of Iran's Fajr Jam Gas Refining Company soars
Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Corporation sets new record
Azerbaijan's defense minister visits newly established commando military unit (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s PMO declares data on load/unload operations in Jask Port
Iran intends to increase exports through Astara
Turkey reveals cargo traffic via its ports from Portugal for 8M2021
Exports of Iran to Kyrgyzstan booming
President Ilham Aliyev receives Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (VIDEO)
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 20
President Ilham Aliyev expresses condolences to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Azerbaijan transfers captured Armenian servicemen back to Armenia
Uzbekistan plans to exempt import and sale of meat products from VAT
Turkey shares data on maritime cargo shipment with Russia for 8M2021
Azerbaijan shares data on oil transported via BTC pipeline in 9M2021
USAID to provide additional funds for Kazakhstan to fight COVID-19
Turkey announces data on cargo traffic with Italy for 8M2021
Kazakhstan imposes export restrictions for some timber types
Azerbaijan names locations of future national parks in liberated territories
Azerbaijan demands certain steps from Armenia at UN International Court of Justice
Iran’s 9M2021 Turkish cement imports up
Iran to host meeting on economic co-op with Turkmenistan
Georgian foreign trade turnover increases
Iran increases petrochemicals production
Kazakhstan sees increase in number of open trading accounts
​Iran allocates more funds for oil and gas projects in Ilam Province
Turkey unveils data on cargo traffic via its ports from Spain
Georgia's domestic export up in 9M2021
Value of Turkish cement exports to Georgia for 8M2021 down
Turkey shares data on cargo traffic with Greece for 8M2021
Turkey reveals cargo volume handled from Egypt in 8M2021
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,102 more COVID-19 cases, 863 recoveries
Cargo traffic on Azerbaijan's section of TRACECA for 8M2021 revealed
IMF lowers breakeven oil price level for Azerbaijan
Saudi index hits 15-year peak as most Gulf bourses gain
Israel's Bank Mizrahi Tefahot to issue $1.1 bln of CPI-linked bonds
Iran seeks to complete semi-finished project related to Lake Urmia's revitalization
Iran imports trucks to renovate transportation fleet
IMF revises up forecasts for Azerbaijan’s non-oil GDP growth
Iran`s domestic appliances production increases
IMF reveals forecast for Azerbaijan’s annual inflation
Iran's imports from neighboring countries up
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Singapore for 8M2021
Hungarian companies to attend Rebuild Karabakh EXPO
Azerbaijan raises gas exports via BTE pipeline
IMF predicts growth for Azerbaijan's GDP
Azerbaijani ministry denies rumors about full transition of schools to online lessons
Slovakia interested in deepening relations with Azerbaijan - FM
Turkey reveals cargo traffic with Morocco for 8M2021
Data on cargo shipping between Turkey and Algeria for 8M2021 revealed
Turkey shares data on cargo traffic with Israel for 8M2021
TAP partially stems increase in gas prices – managing director
Iran to sell oil through private sector
Iran started exploration of mining sites in South Khorasan Province
Minister talks preferential loans issued in Azerbaijan since early 2021
Bakcell will be ready to implement eSIM project in Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 19
Iran's steel production increases
Iran eyes to boost domestic production in mining, industrial and commercial sectors
AccessBank eyes increasing loan portfolio mainly in segment of micro, agricultural entrepreneurs - Acting Chairman of Board (Interview)
National bank of Georgia shares data on payment cards issuance
Average mobile internet download speed continues to grow in Azerbaijan - Ookla
Galt & Taggart publishes overview of Georgia's economic growth
USAID selecting Turkmen business projects for co-financing
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for supply of wellhead equipment
Azerbaijan exported most of its oil to Italy in 9M2021 - State Customs Committee
Iran ready to attract investment in renewable energy sector - minister
Azerbaijan - supporter of normalization of relations with Armenia, says FM
Azerbaijan, Slovakia eye signing agreement on economic co-op
Slovakia to supply Azerbaijan with de-mining machines in near future
Azerbaijan denies rumors about impeding exports from Iran to Russia
Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Agency releases car quality report
Iran to complete railway transit corridors - RAI
Baku Expo Center to soon open 'Rebuild Karabakh' exhibition
Joint press conference of Azerbaijani and Slovak FMs held in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
VTB Bank in Georgia to back up creation of Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Center
Uzbekistan to produce its first electric cars
Turkey's steel export to Uzbekistan surges in value for 9M2021
All news