|Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon|
20 October 1992 – present
|Preceded by||Hussein el-Husseini|
28 January 1938 |
Bo, Sierra Leone
|Political party||Amal Movement|
|Religion||Twelver Shia Islam|
Early life and education
Berri went to school in Tebnine and Ain Ebel in southern Lebanon, then continued his education in Bint Jbeil and Jaafariya supplementary schools in southern Lebanon and later studied at the Makassed and the Ecole de la Sagesse in Beirut. He graduated with a Law degree from the Lebanese University in 1963, where he had served as the student body president, and became a lawyer at the Court of Appeals.
During 1963, Berri was elected as president of the National Union of Lebanese Students, and participated to student and political conferences. During his early career he became a lawyer at the Court of Appeals. In the early 1970s, Berri worked in Beirut as a lawyer for several companies.
In 1980, Berri was elected leader of the Amal Movement, This caused increasing cooperation with the Israelis in the south, which allowed for several officials defect from Amal and found Islamic Amal, which later transformed into Hezbollah.
Berri also joined the National Unity government as minister of state for South Lebanon and reconstruction under Prime Minister Rashid Karami in May 1984. He also served as the minister of housing and co-operatives.
Later political career
Berri served as a cabinet minister from 1984 till 1992:
- 30 April 1984 to 22 September 1988: Minister of Justice in the government of Rashid Karami.
- 25 November 1989 to 24 December 1990: Minister of Hydraulic& Electric Resources in the government of Selim Hoss.
- 25 November 1989 to 24 December 1990: Minister of Housing& Cooperatives in the government of Selim Hoss.
- 16 May 1992 to 31 October 1992: Minister of state in the government of Rachid Solh.
Berri headed the list of "Liberation" in the parliamentary elections that took place in southern Lebanon on 6 September 1992, which was won in full. The other lists he headed were "Liberation and Development" in the parliamentary elections on 8 September 1996, which was won in full. Since 1992 he chairs the Liberation and Development parliamentary bloc.
In 1996 Berri was involved in corruption allegations about a coastal motorway in southern Lebanon. The contract for the motorway was won by a firm run by Berri's wife, Randa Assi, and Lebanese government officials admitted that it was overpriced by hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Berri headed the list of "Resistance and Development" in the parliamentary elections that took place in southern Lebanon on 3 September 2000, which was won in full. He also headed the list of Liberation and Development in the parliamentary elections which took place in June 2005, which was won in full. Currently, Berri heads the list of "Liberation and Development" in the parliamentary elections on 7 June 2009. All the members of the Bloc won the elections on 2009.
Speaker Nabih Berri was always and still a big supporter of the dialogue between all the Lebanese parties, religions and sects, during the last national dialogue session in May 2014, Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that "power-sharing between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon would not change under any circumstance saying he was speaking on behalf of Shiites, Sunnis and Druze".
He was elected Speaker of the parliament of Lebanon for the first time on 20 October 1992 (105 votes out of 124 votes). He was re-elected for a second time on 22 October 1996 (122 votes out of 126 votes). He was elected to the same post three more times on 17 October 2000 unanimously (124 votes out of 126 votes), on 28 June 2005 (90 votes out of 126 votes) and on 25 June 2009 (90 votes out of 127 votes)
Since 1999, he chairs the Arab Parliament Committee in charge of disclosing the Israeli crimes against Arab civilians. On 3 June 2003, he was elected president of the Arab Parliament and handed the presidency in Damascus on 1 March 2004 for a period of two years. He was elected president of the Council of the Parliamentary Union of the Member States.
In 2004, Berri was mentioned in one of the diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks. The cable said that Amal had problems with corruption, and that Berri was described by a relative of Musa al-Sadr as having provided social services in the south only through "wheeling, dealing, and stealing".
Nabih Berri is married to Randa Assi Berri.
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