Lebanon denies rumoured death of ageing President Aoun

Lebanon denies rumoured death of ageing President Michel Aoun
2 min read
Rumours that circulated on WhatsApp claimed the 86-year-old president had died.
Aoun was elected president by the Lebanese parliament in 2016 [Getty]
Lebanon has denied rumours of the death of ageing President Michel Aoun, the Arab world's oldest president.

The National News Agency (NNA) said on Sunday that rumours circulated on the popular WhatsApp messaging app were "false and unfounded".

Messages shared on WhatsApp had attributed news of Aoun's death to the state-owned news agency.

"The agency categorically denies that it posted such news, and asserts that it has absolutely nothing to do with the fabricated accounts attributed to it, the purpose of which is to cause confusion," the NNA said in a statement.

Aoun, 85, is the oldest president in the Arab world.

The founder of the Free Patriotic Movement party was elected president by the Lebanese parliement in 2016, breaking a 29-month deadlock.

The veteran politician has been the target of public ire over the past few months as Lebanon became engulfed in both political and economic upheaval.

Protests began in October last year after the government proposed a tax on WhatsApp calls and messages.

The mass protest movement soon grew to target the entirety of Lebanon's sectarian political elite, demanding a complete overhaul of a class protesters decried as corrupt.

The demonstrations prompted the resignation of former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, with protesters calling for a new technocratic government.

The new administration led by Hassan Diab and inaugurated in January has failed to impress critics.

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