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Scores rally in Beirut after calls for presidential election

Saturday, September 05, 2015 - 01:16

Thousands rally in Beirut to support a Christian faction leader's call for Lebanon to elect its president by popular vote and to address a crisis that has paralyzed government. Angela Moore reports.

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Waving the orange banners of the Free Patriotic Movement, thousands rallied in Beirut to support Christian faction leader Michel Aoun. He's called for Lebanon to elect its president by popular vote and to address a political crisis that's paralyzed the government. His supporters gathered for his televised address. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEBANESE PROTESTER AND SUPPORTER OF MICHEL AOUN AND THE FREE PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT, FADI, SAYING: "We are participating to tell everybody in Lebanon and abroad that we are supporting General Michel Aoun for presidency. He is a guy from the people; we support him. We need elections also to tell everybody that we have a voice and we need to tell everyone also that we are here, and we are here to stay and we are not leaving Lebanon." Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system stipulates the president -- chosen by parliament -- has to be a Christian. MPs have failed in at least 26 sessions to elect a president since Michel Suleiman's term expired last year. Aoun would like the post but he can't muster the cross-party consensus required... and there is no sign of a credible alternative.

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Scores rally in Beirut after calls for presidential election

Saturday, September 05, 2015 - 01:16