FAYYADIYEH, Lebanon -- Amin Gemayel, a moderate member of the Phalange Party, was elected president of Lebanon in a rare display of Christian-Moslem unity Tuesday, exactly a week after the assassination of his younger brother.
Gemayel, 40, will assume office Thursday.
He received 77 votes, easily exceeding the two-thirds majority required from the 92-member parliament for election on a first ballot.
There were three blank ballots and the remaining members of parliament were absent.
Amin's only rival, Raymond Edde, a leftist living in France since 1976, did not receive any votes.
Former President Camille Chamoun, 82, the right-wing leader of the National Liberal Party, withdrew from the race Monday, after Gemayel won the endorsement of influential Moslems, assuring Gemayel would succeed President Elias Sarkis.
Gemayel's brother Beshir, the 34-year-old avidly pro-western leader of the Phalange Party, was killed in a terrorist bombing of the party headquarters.
With the backing of both Moslems and his fellow Christians, Gemayel's victory came in only 25 minutes.
'The more we all work for the unity of Lebanon, its territories and its people, the more we will be loyal to his (Beshir's) dreams and plans for a proper future,' Gemayel said in a victory speech, before going to his brother's grave to lay a wreath. 'It's no time to weep. It's time for action,' he added.
Gemayel is expected to rule by consensus, in a more moderate government than had been expected from his younger brother who was widely disliked by the Moslem community.
His support from west Beirut's Moslem community contrasted to the distrust Moslems had for his younger brother, thought to have acted ruthlessly toward his enemies and rivals as a Christian militia leader in the 1975-76 civil war.
The elder Gemayel has no such handicap.
'I know Amin was never involved in violence,' said former Prime Minister Saeb Salam, a patriach of the Moslem community.
'Now I believe there will be a consensus,' Salam added.
Amin Gemayel never was deeply aligned with the military policies of the Christian Phalange and swayed prominent Moslems by maintaining personal contacts with their leaders in west Beirut even during the Israeli siege.
Because of the attack that killed Beshir, there was heavy security at the military college in the east Beirut suburb of Fayyadiyeh as the deputies assembled to vote.
Besides Beshir Gemayel, at least 20 other people were killed by the bomb blast Sept. 14. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast and the mystery might never be solved.
The Parliament building, near the 'green line' dividing Christian east and Moslem west Beirut, has been deserted since the 1975-76 civil war.
The deputies observed 5 minutes of silence in memory of the slain president-elect.
In west Beirut, Lebanese military authorities said Israeli forces were slowly withdrawing from the Moslem area.
'So far, the Lebanese regulars have been able to spread their control over 60 percent of the capital,' state-run Beirut Radio said, quoting Lebanese military sources.
House-to-house searches for Lebanese leftist militiamen continued, with patrols of Israeli soldiers walking down streets backed by armored personnel carriers.
At the Chatila and Sabra Palestinian refugee camps on the outskirts of west Beirut, Lebanese Army officials said the final death toll in the massacre of men, women and children by Christian militiamen would exceed 1,000.