Lebanon News

After two years of vacuum, Lebanon stages Independence Day parade

Lebanese activists wave a big Lebanese flag as they march through the streets to mark Independence Day, that comes this year amid anti-government protests and a vacancy in the president’s post, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: Lebanon is preparing to commemorate the country's 73rd Independence Day after two years without celebrations due to the country's political gridlock and presidential interregnum.

For the first time since the country's presidential vacuum in 2014, Lebanon will hold a military parade, after the election of the country' 13th head of state.

President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, high-ranking security officials, politicians and other dignitaries will attend the ceremony that will be held Tuesday on Shafiq Wazzan Avenue in Downtown Beirut.

The Lebanese Army has already constructed a stage in the area, which is now covered with Lebanese flags and prepared to host the event.

The parade traditionally begins after a 21-gun salute is fired and after Aoun lays a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The three officials, Aoun, Berri and Hariri will later head to the presidential palace in Baabda to receive well-wishers.

Speaking during an Independence Day celebration Saturday, General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim said that the election of President Aoun has restored balance to "our parliamentary and democratic system and reduces 2-1/2-year of draining" that targeted state institutions.

But he warned Lebanon against falling into the "trap of division and exclusion within the frames of sectarianism."

Hariri had hoped to form his all-inclusive Cabinet before Independence Day; however, steadfast demands by rival political factions have been delaying its formation.





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