INTRODUCTION: As the tenuous ceasefire continues to hold in the south of Lebanon.......in Beirut the Lebanese Parliament opened the autumn session on Tuesday (20 October).
BEIRUT, LEBANON (VISNEWS - MOHAMMAD AWWAD)
GV Single House Parliament building
GV & SV Security around Parliament building. (4 SHOTS)
SV Pierre Gemayel arriving
SV PAN EXTERIOR Armed troops
SV Mr. Shafiq al-Wazzan arriving
SV People awaiting arrivals
SV Other delegates arriving. (2 SHOTS)
SV Al-Assad arriving
Background: INTRODUCTION: As the tenuous ceasefire continues to hold in the south of Lebanon.......in Beirut the Lebanese Parliament opened the autumn session on Tuesday (20 October). One of its first acts was to re-elect Kamel Al-Assad as speaker of the single house chamber of deputies.
SYNOPSIS: The new Parliamentary session comes at a time when events elsewhere in the Middle East threaten to disrupt the fragile ceasefire in Lebanon. Security was consequently very tight around the Parliament building although Beirut has been relatively quiet in recent weeks.
One of the first Parliamentarians to arrive was Pierre Gemayel who has represented a Beirut constituency since 1960. Mr. Gemayel, a Christian, opposes the Palestinian presence in his country and is a firm believer in Lebanon as a national entity.
The Prime Minister, Shafiq al-Wazzan also attended the opening session. In the wake of the assassination of Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat the Beirut government has been trying to re-establish their authority in a Lebanon still very much divided. With 80 separate armed factions in a state of military Prime Minister Wazzan's government has been re-equipping the national army. The government's aim is to enforce the uneasy peace that exists between these groups, the largest of which remains the Palestinians to continue to be the focus of Middle East and Lebanese politics.
The Parliament's opening session overwhelming voted for the re-selection of Mr. Al-Assad as speaker of the house. It is the fifteenth consecutive time that he has been elected to the post.
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