Lebanese Christian leader presses for elections in rally attended by thousands of supporters

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BEIRUT — Lebanon's Christian leader is pressing the country's political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president as thousands of his supporters gathered on a road leading to the empty presidential palace.

Sunday's large rally comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year. Lebanon's parliament has been torn by political rivalry and is unable to elect a president since the last one's term expired in May 2014.

Michel Aoun, the 80-year-old former army commander, is bidding for the presidency. He told the crowd: "Change will come through real elections that really represent the will of the Lebanese people."

According to Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the premier a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shiite.

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