Burnt billboards showing Aoun in Hilaliyah, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Some residents of a mainly Sunni area of Beirut reacted with optimism to Michel Aoun's election as president Monday, while others remained skeptical. Tariq al-Jadideh, whose residents have opposed Aoun for years partly over his perceived anti-Sunni rhetoric and alliance with Shiite Hezbollah, has traditionally been a bastion of support for former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Future Movement.Hariri had admitted that his choice to back Aoun might prove unpopular among his supporters. Riad Itani, a father of two from Tariq al-Jadideh, said he was looking forward to Lebanon having a president, but said he would have to wait and see what Aoun was able to do. In a dramatic shift, Hariri changed his nomination to back Aoun in a televised speech earlier this month.
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