Lebanon: Aoun will leave the presidential palace, escorted by his supporters

Lebanon: Aoun will leave the presidential palace, escorted by his supporters


Lebanese head of state Michel Aoun leaves the presidential palace on Sunday at the end of his term, without a designated successor, during a popular ceremony organized by his supporters.  

Hundreds of followers of the head of state, founder of the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL), allied with pro-Iranian Hezbollah, flocked to the presidential palace on the heights overlooking Beirut, to accompany him to his home, noted a AFP photographer. 

“We came to escort the president at the end of his mandate, to tell him that we are with him and that we will continue the fight by his side,” said Joumana Nahed, a teacher. 

Michel Aoun's six-year mandate ends on Monday without the deputies failing to elect his successor because of their political differences, in a country in full economic collapse. 

This worrying prospect the international community, especially since the country will be managed by a government in charge of expediting current affairs, political divisions having also prevented the formation of a new cabinet since the spring legislative elections. 

< p>Parliament has already met four times over the past month in vain, neither the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah camp, the powerful armed movement which dominates political life in Lebanon, nor that of its opponents having a clear majority to impose a candidate. 

Waving portraits of President Aoun, 87, many dressed in orange, the color of the CPL, dozens of supporters of the former commander-in-chief of the army, qu 'general', they spent the night in tents on the outskirts of Baabda's palace. 

Among them, Nabil Rahbani, 59, points out that he has already camped near the presidential palace for the first time “between 1989 and 1990, before the Syrian air force dislodged the general from the palace of Baabda”. 

At the end of the civil war, thousands of supporters of Michel Aoun, then head of a military government and who refused to hand over power to an elected president, had camped around the palace to support him, before he was dislodged by a Syrian military operation in October 1990. 

Michel Aoun's mandate was marked by economic collapse, an explosion that ravaged Beirut and an unprecedented popular uprising . 

In the past, the election of a president has already led to violence or political crises, in a country governed by a community sharing of power, the presidency of the Republic being reserved to a Maronite Christian. Two parties, the CPL and the Lebanese Forces, are vying for the leadership of the Christian community.