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How Aoun rose from '90s renegade to Lebanon's new president

The election of Gen. Michel Aoun as Lebanon’s president ends a 2½-year void in the office but also divides the Lebanese public, with some considering him the candidate of Hezbollah.
Newly elected Lebanese president Michel Aoun sits on the president's chair inside the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher - RTX2R7JE
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Michel Aoun will never forget two Octobers in his life: one that saw him ousted, humiliated and sent into exile on Oct. 13, 1990, and one that came 26 years later when he was elected on Oct. 31, 2016, as Lebanon’s 13th president. The 81-year-old former military chief of staff sat inside the parliament’s main chamber while his fellow members of parliament voted for him.

Watching from the 1934 building’s mezzanine was Aoun's family, including his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. Beside them sat famous Lebanese singer Julia Boutros, whose husband is Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, one of Aoun’s Cabinet members. At the same level sat former Lebanese presidents Michel Suleiman and Amin Gemayel, along with commanders of the army, internal security and general security officials, and journalists.

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