Lebanon’s parliament on 31 October finally elected Michel Aoun of the Free Patriotic Movement as the country’s new president after the position had lain vacant for 30 months. The development has brought hope of more stability in the midst of the ongoing political turmoil in next door Syria.

The election of President Aoun, a Maronite Christian but also an ally of the Shia and Iranian-backed paramilitary movement Hizbollah, was facilitated when his opponent Sa’d al-Hariri of the Future Movement, who has strong links with Saudi Arabia, finally decided to endorse Mr Aoun. This endorsement came with an understanding that Mr Hariri will head the government in the new administration. (CONTINUED - 1137 WORDS)