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Chamoun, Camille (Lebanon)

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Introduction

A Maronite (a member of the Christian sect which by political and religious convention holds the state presidency, while the prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of the National Assembly a Shia Muslim), Chamoun was president of Lebanon from 1952–58 and leader of the National Liberal Party (NLP) from 1958–86. He held various other government posts during a long political career that ended in 1987 when he died while still serving as minister of finance.

Early Life

Born on 3 April 1900, Chamoun qualified as a lawyer in 1924. He entered parliament in 1934 and was minister of finance in the pre-war French mandate regime. At independence he was minister of the interior, subsequently serving as a delegate to various United Nations conferences and committees and as Lebanese representative to London. By the late 1940s he was one of the most prominent members of a mainly Christian political faction known as the Constitutional Bloc. In Sept. 1952 a general strike...

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