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Elias Hrawi
Arabic: alyās 'al-harāwiyy

Elias Hrawi.

Elias Hrawi.

(1930- ) Lebanese politician, and president 1989-98.
Since Hrawi's Zahle region was under Syrian control through most of the civil war, he developed good relations with Damascus. This came to be central both in his rise to success, which was aided by Syria, and in the direction of his politics through his 9 years of presidency.
Hrawi was the man in the driver seat when Lebanon negotiated peace, which provided a great deal of support for him. But his pro-Syrian politics also provoked many Lebanese nationalists.

1930: Born into a landowning Maronite Christian family in the Zahle region.
1972: Becomes a parliamentary deputy.
1980: Appointed Minister of Public Works.
1989 November 24: Is elected president with 90% of the votes from the parliament. His first challenge is to face Michel Aoun, the "temporary" prime minister, who would not acknowledge his election. He also started working for closer ties between Syria and Lebanon.
1990 August: Hrawi is central in securing support for the forthcoming negotiations for the National Reconciliation Charter to be held in At Ta'if, and is successful in challenging Aoun. This campaign proved successful, as as it reduced Aoun's support to 1/3.
October: Together with his Syrian allies, Hrawi is able to defeat Aoun permanently. This victory on October 13 marks the end of the Lebanese Civil War. It allows him to create Greater Beirut, which was intended to be totally under government control.
1991 May: Signs a treaty with Syria, giving that country much control over Lebanese politics.
1992: In the general elections, Hrawi's supporters gain more seats, making his power more effective.
1995: Has his presidency prolonged for 3 years, following a change in the constitution.
1998: Steps down as president, and is succeeded by Emile Lahoud.

By Tore Kjeilen