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Supporters of Christian Lebanese leader protest in Beirut to demand new elections


BEIRUT — Supporters of a Lebanese Christian leader are gathering in Beirut in a large protest to demand parliament and presidential elections.

Michel Aoun, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, has urged a heavy turnout at Friday's demonstration, which is separate from recent anti-government protests over the country's ongoing trash crisis.

Aoun, who is part of the current government, is calling for an end to what he says is Christian marginalization.

Lebanon has been without a president for more than a year. According to Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the premier a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shiite.

Aoun, a former army commander, is bidding for presidency. He is calling for a new electoral law and parliament elections to be followed by presidential elections.

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