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Lebanese Christian leader presses for elections in rally attended by thousands of supporters

  • Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese flags and pictures of him during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese flags and pictures of him during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese flags during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese flags during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Christian leader Michel Aoun, center, greets his supporters as he arrives to deliver a speech during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Christian leader Michel Aoun, center, greets his supporters as he arrives to deliver a speech during a rally near the empty presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Aoun, who is bidding for the presidency, is pressing the country’s political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president. The large rally Sunday comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year and a parliament torn by political rivalry. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

Lebanon's Christian leader is pressing the country's political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president as thousands of his supporters gathered on a road leading to the empty presidential palace.

Sunday's large rally comes amid a persistent political stalemate in Lebanon, which has had no president for over a year. Lebanon's parliament has been torn by political rivalry and is unable to elect a president since the last one's term expired in May 2014.

Michel Aoun, the 80-year-old former army commander, is bidding for the presidency. He told the crowd: "Change will come through real elections that really represent the will of the Lebanese people."

According to Lebanon's power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the premier a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shiite.