Dany Chamoun in 1988
|President of the National Liberal Party|
|Preceded by||Camille Chamoun|
|Succeeded by||Dory Chamoun|
|Born||26 August 1934|
Deir el Qamar, Lebanon
|Died||21 October 1990 (aged 56)|
|Political party||National Liberal Party|
Dany Chamoun (Arabic: داني شمعون) (26 August 1934 – 21 October 1990) was a prominent Lebanese politician. A Maronite Christian, the younger son of former President Camille Chamoun and brother of Dory Chamoun, Chamoun was also a politician in his own right, and was known for his opposition to the occupation of Lebanese territory by foreign forces, whether Syrian or Israeli.
Life and career
Early life and education
Chamoun reported that he had not had any interest in politics before the Lebanon civil war. He became the National Liberal Party Secretary of Defense in January 1976, after the death of its predecessor Naim Berdkan. As Supreme Commander of the NLP's military wing, the Tigers, he also played a major role in the early years of the Lebanese Civil War.
By 1980, the Phalangist-dominated Lebanese Forces were under the command of Bachir Gemayel. Rivalry began to arise between Bashir and Dany. Dany's Tigers were eliminated as a military force in a massacre perpetrated on 7 July 1980 by the rival Phalangists. Chamoun's life was spared and he fled to the Sunni Muslim-dominated West Beirut. He then went into self-imposed exile.
Chamoun was a supporter of the nationalist Christian cause at heart, however, and he soon returned to the cause to which he, like his father, had dedicated his life. He served as General Secretary of the National Liberal Party from 1983 to 1985, when he replaced his father as the party leader. In 1988, he became President of the revived Lebanese Front—a coalition of nationalist and mainly Christian parties and politicians that his father had helped to found. The same year, he announced his candidacy for the Presidency of Lebanon to succeed Amine Gemayel (Bashir's brother), but Syria (which by this time occupied some 70 percent of Lebanese territory) vetoed his candidacy.
Gemayel's term expired on 23 September 1988 without the election of a successor. Chamoun declared his strong support for Michel Aoun, who had been appointed by the outgoing president to lead an interim administration and went on to lead one of two rival governments that contended for power over the next two years. He strongly opposed the Taif Agreement, which not only gave a greater share of power to the Muslim community than they had enjoyed previously, but more seriously, in Chamoun's opinion, formalized what he saw as the master-servant relationship between Syria and Lebanon, and refused to recognize the new government of the President Elias Hrawi, who was elected under the Taif Agreement.
On 21 October 1990, Chamoun, along with his German-born second wife Ingrid (forty-five), and his two sons, Tarek (seven) and Julian (five), were murdered. On 24 June 1995, the Lebanese Tribunal found Samir Geagea guilty of the assassination of Dany Chamoun and his family. Overwhelming evidence derived from investigations led to Geagea receiving a life sentence. The heavy sentence allegedly having been issued due to Syrian occupation influence on the tribunal, Geagea was released after the Syrian departure.
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