National Liberal Party (Lebanon)
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|Vice president||Robert Khoury|
|General Secretary||Elias Abou Assi|
|Founded||10 September 1958|
|Headquarters||Rue du Liban, Achrafieh, Beirut|
|National affiliation||March 14 Alliance|
|Regional affiliation||Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy|
|Seats in Parliament||
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|Seats in Government||
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The National Liberal Party (NLP, Arabic: حزب الوطنيين الأحرار, literally Ḥizb Al-Waṭaniyyīn Al-Aḥrār) is a center-right political party in Lebanon, established by President Camille Chamoun in 1958. It is now under the leadership of Dory Chamoun, his son.
The party has adopted a hard line in regard to the preservation of Lebanese independence, and to the safeguard of the distinctive liberal practices in Lebanon with respect to freedom of expression and opinion and religious freedoms. Like most Lebanese political organization, it has a sectarian basis; the NLP is mainly supported by Christians. (For more information on this, see Demographics of Lebanon)
While England and the United States, Camille Chamoun developed an appreciation for political, economic, and social liberalism, particularly in the media. After his presidential career ended, he set up the National Liberal Party to represent his views. Politically, he was anti-French and pro-British, and strongly supported independent action. The ideology of the National Liberal Party was primarily focused on allegiance to Chamoun and support for Lebanese independence. It distinguished itself from other parties mainly by its support for democratic governance and a free enterprise system.
In 1968, the party joined The Helf Alliance formed with the two other big mainly Christian parties in Lebanon: the Kataeb of Pierre Gemayel, and National Bloc of Raymond Eddé. During the Lebanese Civil War of 1975–90, the NLP was aligned with the mainly Maronite Christian alliance who fought the Lebanese National Movement (LNM). It had its own armed militia, the Tigers. In 1976, the NLP joined with the Kataeb Party (Phalange) and the Lebanese Renewal Party (LRP) to form the Lebanese Front, a political coalition. This was paralleled by the joining of the militias under a central command, the Lebanese Forces, headed by Phalange leader Bashir Gemayel. In 1980, Gemayel turned on the Tigers, and in a surprise attack in Safra eliminated the militia. The NLP has survived as a party, however. Nevertheless, with the death of Camille Chamoun in 1987 and the assassination of his successor and son Dany in 1990, combined with the rise of the Lebanese Forces as political party, it seems that the NLP's political influence has considerably declined comparing to the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2009 during the Lebanese general election Dory Chamoun won a deputy seat in the Chouf District accumulating 61936 voices with the support of the Progressive Socialist Party and the Future Movement against the Free Patriotic Movement candidates who just afford to assemble approximately 22000 voices. Chamoun demonstrated in the same time the strength of his party in the region.
In 2011 the NLP opposed to the formation of the Mikati government essentially composed of the March 8 Alliance. At the same contexts hundred of partisans have participated in 2013 in manifestations against the government who fall the same year after the resignation of Najib Mikati in August.
On 12 July 2015 the party organized his internal elections who saw the reelection of Dory Chamoun as president and Robert Khoury as Vice President as well as the election of a new political council. This event saw also the birth of a new reform movement in the NLP lead by Georges Najm, the son of the former general secretary of the party Émile Najm.
List of presidents of the National Liberal Party
- Hiro, Dilip (1982). Inside the Middle East. Routledge. p. 116.
- A.J. Abraham (2008). Lebanon in Modern Times. University Press of America. p. 128.
While in England and the United States, Camille Chamoun developed an interest and fondness for political, economic and social liberalism, specifically in the media. Eventually, after his presidential career ended, he would form Lebanon's National Liberal Party (Hizb al-Wataniyy al-Ahrar/ al- Ahrar) to continue to propagate his views. He was always anti-French and pro-British, and a powerful supporter of independent action, especially as president (1952–1958).
- Shanahan, Rodger (2005). The Shi'a of Lebanon: Clans, Parties and Clerics. Tauris Academic Studies. p. 93.
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