File - President Amine Gemayel tasking Army Commander Michel Aoun with forming a transitional military government, Sept. 22, 1988. (The Daily Star/Amine Gemayel Website, HO)
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Lebanon plunges into a presidential vacuum Sunday, in the fourth crisis of its kind since the country won independence in 1943, with some only ending after the outbreak of violence.Parliament has failed to elect a president during the past month's five sessions, with March 8 MPs boycotting all but one vote because no consensus had been reached beforehand on a candidate. The country descended into a much longer and more violent presidential vacuum starting Sept. 22, 1988, when President Amine Gemayel's term expired without the election of a successor.Gemayel blamed Syrian Intelligence for not allowing MPs in west Beirut – which was then under Syria's control – to attend presidential election sessions called for by Speaker Husseini, thus resulting in a presidential vacuum.Two weeks later, Mouawad was elected to the presidency, ending over 13 months of presidential vacuum, only to be assassinated on Nov. 22 .Lebanon spent six months in the abyss of a presidential vacuum again in November 2007, when President Emile Lahoud left Baabda Palace and the March 14 government of Fouad Siniora assumed his powers.
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