The Lebanese parliament elected former army commander Michel Aoun as president, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum in a political deal that secured victory for his Lebanese Shi'ite ally Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Lebanon's 29-month presidential vacuum is over. Former army commander Michel Aoun, who was once driven into exile by Syrian forces, arrived at the presidential palace as the country's new head of state. The polarizing Christian politician and ally to Hezbollah had no real challengers for the position. The only other official candidate was also a Hezbollah ally... and had asked his supporters to cast blank ballots. Hundreds of residents, mostly supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement that Aoun founded, celebrated in Beirut as night fell. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEBANESE STUDENT, AMJAD HASSAN, SAYING: "Thank you General Aoun. We love you. We believe in you." Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri, an opponent of Hezbollah and its allies, is set to be named prime minister.