Under mounting military and parliamentary pressure Lebanese President Sulei??? Franjieh is clinging to his office?
Under mounting military and parliamentary pressure Lebanese President Sulei??? Franjieh is clinging to his office after agreeing on Monday (15 March) to step down.
The 65-year-old President agreed to step down as army commandos, mutinous troops and leftist gunmen prepared to march against him in the capital Beirut. But he insisted that a face-saving formula be found to make his exit look voluntary and that whoever succeeded him as head of state be acceptable to him.
In the rolling hills east of Beirut, a mixed force of leftwingers and army mutineers of the renegade Lebanese Arab Army advanced to within 10 kilometres (six miles) of the presidential Palace, swearing to storm it.
Adding to the tension, pro-Syrian Palestinian commandos of the Sauqa movement 10 kilometres south of Beirut were confronting an armoured column of army mutineers who have also sworn to storm the palace.
The column of tanks; field guns and armoured vehicles rolled towards the city from southern Lebanon. But their advance was halted to avoid a clash with the well-equipped Palestinian force.
This occurred as Arab diplomatic sources reported that at least 1,000 syrian troops had entered Lebanon in the guise of members of the Palestinian Liberation Army (PAL).
Syria, fearing total collapse in Lebanon would bring Israeli intervention, played a major role in checking nine months of civil war with a ceasefire on 22 January.
In the capital, the President still has support from senior politicians who see the efforts made to oust him as completely unconstitutional.