On October 31, 2016, General Michel Aoun was elected president of the Lebanese Republic, ending a more than two-year vacuum in the top post and a political crisis that brought state institutions perilously close to collapse. Aoun secured a simple majority of votes in the house after a chaotic session that saw several rounds of voting because extra ballots appeared in the ballot box each time. He garnered 83 votes out of 127 lawmakers present at the session. Members of parliament broke out in thunderous applause after Aoun finally was declared president by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. His supporters across the country erupted in cheers as they watched the proceedings on huge screens set up in the streets. Brief celebratory gunfire could also be heard in the capital. “Lebanon is passing through minefields and has been safe from the raging regional fires, and we will prevent any spark from reaching it,” Aoun said in a speech shortly after he was elected. To read his full inaugural speech, click here.
“... I am confident that all the Lebanese, despite their awareness that the road is hard and long, have the determination, will and courage to achieve together what we vowed our life for: A strong and unified Lebanon for all its citizens, a Lebanon of freedom and dignity, a Lebanon of sovereignty and independence, a Lebanon of stability and prosperity, a Lebanon of Pact and message.”
-President Michel Aoun
Inaugural Address October 31, 2016
On November 3, 2016, President Michel Aoun nominated former premier Saad Hariri to form Lebanon’s next government. On December 18, 2016, Hariri announced the formation of a new 30-minister government, bringing in together the entire political spectrum, excluding the Phalangist Party. Historically speaking, the government is formed within several months of an election, but with the urgency of the state of Lebanon, a government was formed in record time.
Lebanese Prime Minister
Upon Aoun''s election, celebrations all over the country erupted.
Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament
Lebanon is due to hold parliamentary elections in May 2017, the first legislative vote in eight years. The current parliament -- elected in 2009 -- has extended its own mandate twice amid fierce disagreements over revamping Lebanon's electoral law.
The Lebanese Government released its Crisis Response Plan with a forward by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini.