Middle East

Thousands rally for former Lebanese general for president

  • Head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil speaks during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Christian leader Michel Aoun said during a speech that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. Arabic on the picture reads "Memory of 13 October."(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil speaks during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Christian leader Michel Aoun said during a speech that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. Arabic on the picture reads "Memory of 13 October."(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil speaks during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Christian leader Michel Aoun said during a speech that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. Arabic on the picture reads "Sunday, 16 October, People's road house, Baabda. Memory of 13 October."(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil speaks during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Christian leader Michel Aoun said during a speech that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. Arabic on the picture reads "Sunday, 16 October, People's road house, Baabda. Memory of 13 October."(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold flags as he speaks via video link during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Aoun said that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Supporters of Christian leader Michel Aoun hold flags as he speaks via video link during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Aoun said that respecting Lebanon's equal power sharing system between Christians and Muslims will pave the way for building a proper state. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

Lebanon's largest Christian party has rallied thousands of its supporters to push for the election of its leader, former Army Gen. Michel Aoun, as president.

The supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement waved the party's trademark orange flags at a rally marking the 26th anniversary of when Syrian forces ousted General Aoun from the presidential palace, in the final major military act of the Lebanese Civil War. Sunday's rally reached the palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda.

Syrian troops occupied Lebanon until 2005.

Lebanon has been without a president since 2014. The post is elected by the parliament, which is divided between the generally pro-Syrian March 8 coalition and the anti-Syrian March 14. The FPM votes with March 8.

The next election is scheduled for October 31.