After a summer of intensified violence in the south of the country, Lebanon's Parliament held the first meeting of its autumn session on Tuesday (16 October).
GV Soldiers outside Parliament House (2 shots)
SV PAN Kamel Al-Assaad arriving surrounded by security guards
SV Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss arrives
MV Deputies and ministers being handed ballot papers
SV Kamel Al-Assaad and others seated at table, newsmen take photographs
SV PAN Deputies and ministers seated, look on
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Background: After a summer of intensified violence in the south of the country, Lebanon's Parliament held the first meeting of its autumn session on Tuesday (16 October).
SYNOPSIS: Security was tight for the first day of the new Lebanese parliamentary session. The summer recess had seen a large increase in violence in the Southern Lebanon, and only two days previously Beirut's battle-scarred commercial area had again been the scene of fighting between Christian militiamen and Syrian peacekeeping forces.
Parliamentary Speaker Mr. Kamel Al-Assaad arrived with a cordon of security guards. The fifty-year-old former Minister was seeking re-election as Speaker for the thirteenth time since 1968.
Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss, who had spent much of the summer touring the violence-stricken areas of South Lebanon, was another of the M.P.'s attending the new session.
The main task before the M.P.'s was the election of the Speaker. They again chose Mr. Al-Assaad, who was returned to the office with a large majority. Mr. Assaad is known to be a strong opponent of partitioning Lebanon.