Contenders for the presidency of Lebanon are waiting in the sidelines while Suleiman Franjieh fights to survive a potential military coup.
GV ZOOM INTO CU Pierre Helou taking breakfast with aides
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Elias Sarkis posing for Press
CU Mr. Helou speaking in French
Initials RH/0318 RH/MW/JB/0335
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Background: Contenders for the presidency of Lebanon are waiting in the sidelines while Suleiman Franjieh fights to survive a potential military coup.
The list of possibles to succeed the 65-year-old head of state is headed by Mr. Pierre Helou, aged 48, a former minister and a relative of the last president Charles Helou, and Mr. Elias Sarkis, governor of the Lebanese Central Bank for the past eight years.
The president is traditionally a Maronite Christian.
President Franjieh agreed to resign on Monday (15 March) under mounting left-wing military and parliamentary pressure for his resignation.
But he has refused to step down until he can be reassured about the succession. His successor must be acceptable to him.
Armoured columns of the dissident "Lebanese Rebel Army" were waiting six miles (10 kms) from Beirut, poised to oust Mr. Franjieh by force.