WS: LEBANON AGAIN FACES PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION ISSUE

Created: 3/6/1964

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THIS :iat3bial CONTAINS INFORMATION APPZCT-:NG THE NATSCNAL DEFENSE OF THE UNITEDES WITHIN TIiE LEANING of THESC.. THEOR REVELATION OF WHICH IN ANY MANNER TO ANIS PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thi* cocumenr MOST NOTSELHASSDTO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS,rkea with spec ifi^issemi not ion comroii In accoraance wirri, the document rust be henaied within the frolBeworlc of lie limilalioninooseo.

over five years of relative calm, Lebanon isanothor presidential election which could revive the religious and politicalthat led to the civil war The paramount issue is whether President Shlhab, the moderate Uaronite Christian whose election terminated8 crisis, will seek re-election. As it now stands,econd torm for the president, but many Lebanese believe that Shlhab is the only leader who can save the country from another period of political violence.

Shlhab so far has appeared reluctant to succeed himself. However, the strong sentimentecond term for bis may induce him to change hisafter thehas been changed. New parliamentary elections, to be heldprilay, may be followed by some definitive announcement byregarding bis intentions.

Tho new parliament will elect the president, probably in August. Accordingyoar-old unwritten agreement between leaders of the Muslim and Christian communities, tho president aronite and

the primeunni Muslim, while other top state offices are distributed among the leas important religious groups.

Ex-President Shamun'sto succeed himself started the troubles An effort by Shlhab to follow suit would be opposed by some elements,Shaaun and UaroniteMiusbl, both of whom have long been at odds with him. Shibab's popularity among both Muslims and Christians generally, however, probably would prevent sentiment against bin fromthe iatenalty of that against Shaaunoreover, the CAR, which at that time was deeply involved in supporting; Uuslim opposition to Sbamun, is unlikely to intervene against Shlhab.

Mar 64

INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY

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