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Ex president loses Lebanon poll

  • Story Highlights
  • Former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel loses by a few hundred votes
  • Candidates will replace legislator Pierre Gemayel and lawmaker Walid Eido
  • Both were allies of U.S.-backed Lebanese government and opponents of Syria
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BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Supporters and opponents of Lebanon's pro-Western government appeared to split seats on Sunday as Lebanese voters went to the polls to replace two ruling-party lawmakers assassinated in recent months.

Lebanese women wait in line to cast their votes in Beirut.

Voters in Beirut sent pro-government candidate Mohammed al-Amin Itani to parliament to replace Walid Eido, who was killed in a June bombing.

Both Eido, a Sunni Muslim, and Itani are members of the bloc led by Saad Hariri -- the son of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose 2005 killing triggered Lebanon's current wave of political upheaval.

But in Metn, a Maronite Christian suburb east of the capital, anti-government candidate Camille Khouri upset former President Amin Gemayel by a few hundred votes, Lebanese television network LBC reported.

Khouri is a member of the Free Patriotic Movement, the anti-government party led by former Lebanese Army Gen. Michel Aoun. Aoun has said he will run for president of Lebanon -- and since the post is chosen by members of parliament, Sunday's results were closely watched.

Gemayel was seeking the seat held by his son Pierre, who served as industry minister in the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora before being gunned down in his car in November 2006. He served as president from 1982 to 1988, during the civil war in Lebanon.

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His brother, Bashir Gemayel, was elected president in 1982 but was assassinated before he could take office.

Eido and Gemayel were among several Lebanese political figures killed since the February 2005 killing of the elder Hariri. All were critical of Syria's influence in Lebanon, and their supporters blamed Damascus for their deaths -- allegations the Syrians and their allies in Lebanon denied.

Hariri's killing triggered a wave of protests against Syria known as the "Cedar Revolution," which brought Siniora's government to power and forced Syria to withdraw the garrison it kept in Lebanon for three decades. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Nada Husseini contributed to this report.

All About Fouad SinioraMichel AounWalid JumblattLebanon

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