Lebanese opposition leader backs army chief for president

Christian opposition leader and presidential hopeful Michel Aoun said Thursday he supports Lebanese army chief as a compromise candidate for president, but only if constitutional obstacles resolved. Aoun's backing brings army chief 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 deadlock between Parliament's feuding factions. "It is a great honor for the military that its commander be a candidate," Aoun, himself a former army chief, said after his bloc met. "We hope that after removing the constitutional hurdles Gen. Suleiman will be our candidate," he said, referring to a constitutional amendment barring an active army chief from running for president.