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Aoun Triumphs in Lebanon Elections


Michel Aoun flashes the V-sign during celebrations with his aides in his home in the outskirts of Beirut
Official election results from Lebanon confirm that former Christian exile Michel Aoun has handily defeated rival opposition politicians in the third round of parliamentary elections.

The Lebanese Interior Ministry says Aoun-backed candidates won 15 out of 16 contested seats in the Maronite Christian area northeast of Beirut.

It was not immediately clear what impact Mr. Aoun's victory will have on opposition efforts to gain control of Lebanon's pro-Syrian parliament.

The former warlord broke ranks with the anti-Syrian opposition last month, after talks with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Sunni leader Saad Hariri failed to produce a consensus candidate for a central district. Mr. Aoun then formed slates that included prominent pro-Syrian candidates.

Elsewhere Sunday, pro-Syrian Hezbollah militants won 10 seats in the Bekaa Valley, while Aoun slate won six seats in a nearby Christian area.

A final round of voting in northern Lebanon takes place next Sunday.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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