Lebanon / Politics /
Camille Nimer Chamoun
Arabic: kamīl nimr sham¢ūn
(1900- 1987) Lebanese politician and president (1952- 58).
Chamoun's main political goal in national politics was to reorganize the departments so that they would function more efficiently. He was not, however, capable of realizing his intent.
Much of Chamoun's politics was oriented towards Western countries, creating disdain from many of his allies. But he was also active for many years in a Christian movement that wanted to build a bridge between the Muslims and Christians in Lebanon.
Chamoun was a power politician who forged alliances with the powerful Druze leader, Kamal Jumblatt, in order to to remove president Bishara Khouri from office, so that he himself could become president. But as soon as that goal was achieved, he cut his ties with Jumblatt. This would backfire on him 6 years later, during the Civil War of 1958, when Jumblatt was central in forcing him out of the presidential office.
After this political defeat, Chamoun was never able to return with the same political force in Lebanese politics.
1900 April 3: Born in Dayru l-Qamar into a Maronite Christian family.
1925: Gets a degree from the French Law College, Beirut.
1934: Is elected to parliament.
1938: Is appointed finance minister.
1943: Is appointed interior minister.
1944: Becomes Lebanon's envoy to Britain.
1946: Is the chief Lebanese representative to the United Nations.
1948: Chamoun starts to form an opposition group in the parliament against president Bishara Khouri. This reaction comes when Khouri doesn't let him take over as president, something that Chamoun expects.
1952: He forms an alliance with Kamal Jumblatt of the Progressive Socialist Party.
September: Khouri has to resign because he is charged with corruption, and Lebanon experiences a general strike. Chamoun is now able to become the new president, but he breaks the ties with his ally, Jumblatt.
1956: Muslim leaders demand that Lebanon break relations with Britain and France, after the start of the Suez-Sinai War. Chamoun refuses.
1958 May: An armed rebellion starts in Tripoli, mainly involving Muslims. The uprising soon spreads to the other main cities along the coast. The army refuses to comply with Chamoun's order to quell the rebellion. Jumblatt supports the rebels, and starts to take control over large parts of the country.
June U.S. troops move into Lebanon, and manage, by June 31, to restore order in the country. The involved groups agree that Fuad Chehab shall become new president.
September 23: As Chamoun's term as president comes to an end, he steps down in favour of Chehab.
1968: Chamoun's party joins an alliance against the Christian groups that want to partake in the movement of Arab nationalism.
1975: With the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Chamoun emerges as one of the main Christian leaders, heading the Lebanese Front.
1984: Chamoun joins the national unity government.
1987 August 7: Dies in Beirut.