Lebanese opposition leader backs army chief; elections postponed

In a major step that could take Lebanon out of its dangerous political vacuum, the country's top Christian opposition leader and one-time presidential hopeful Michel Aoun announced Thursday that he supports the army chief backed by the parliamentary majority as a compromise president. Meanwhile, a session to elect a president scheduled Friday was postponed by a week. "In order to give more time for discussions for the election of a compromise president, parliament speaker Nabih Berri decided to postpone the session scheduled for tomorrow until Friday Dec. 7," said a statement released by Berri's office. Aoun's backing brings Gen. Michel Suleiman a step closer to the nation's top post, vacant after President Emile Lahoud left office last week without a successor because of a long deadlock between parliament's feuding blocs.