Michel Aoun's presidency ends 29-month leadership vacuum in Lebanon

Michel Aoun, center wearing glasses, leaves parliament after a voting session Monday in Beirut.

Story highlights

  • Disagreements between political alliances had left Lebanon without a president since 2014
  • Michel Aoun, onetime disputed president, was welcomed to palace with 21-gun salute

(CNN)Lebanon's parliament ended the country's 29-month leadership stalemate Monday by electing a Hezbollah-backed former army general and disputed president who once considered Syria a bitter enemy.

Michel Aoun is slated to be sworn in as the country's president Monday, ending a political stalemate that had left the country without a head of state for more than two years.
"The President expressed his thanks to the Prime Minister and all ministers, and requested that the Cabinet [act] as a caretaker until the formation of a new Cabinet," Aoun said in a statement.
    A Maronite Christian known as "The General," Aoun is a politically-divisive figure who is affiliated with Hezbollah and other members of the political coalition known as the March 8 Alliance, which ruled Lebanon between mid-2011 and early 2013.
    The two-and-a-half-year political void was the product of disagreements between the March 8 Alliance and the anti-Syrian March 14 Alliance led by ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Sunni Lebanese Future Movement.
    A woman kisses a portrait of Michel Aoun as revelers celebrate Monday on the outskirts of Beirut.
    Hariri, the son of slain former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and who has close ti