Election Under the Gun

A strongman will take over a shattered country

Even by the arcane standards of Lebanon's contorted politics, it was an extraordinary election. Despite demands by Lebanese leftist and Muslim politicians that the voting be postponed until Israeli troops had withdrawn from Beirut, the deeply divided Parliament went ahead last week and elected Israel's chief military and political ally in Lebanon to a six-year term as President. He is Bashir Gemayel, 34, commander of the country's principal Christian militias and leader of the Phalangist Party. Gemayel was the only candidate for the post, largely...

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