warsofLEBANON1968 | 2000


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National Liberal Party    
ideology | founder  

Established in 1958 by Camille Chamoun after he left the presidency, the National Liberal Party (NLP) was a predominantly Maronite organization, although it had some non-Maronites and nonChristians in its leadership. More or less a political vehicle for Chamoun, perhaps the most charismatic of all Christian leaders, the NLP lacked a coherent ideology or program. Although the NLP never matched the organizational efficiency of the Phalange Party, they shared many views, including favoring a free-market economy, anticommunism, close association with the West, and, most important, the continuation of Christian political advantage. In the early 1970s, the NLP claimed 60,000 to 70,000 members and controlled as many as 11 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and Chamoun had occupied several ministerial posts after his term as president.
Chamoun later on headed what was known as The Lebanese front, a Christian political front, he played an extremely vital role in founding a resistance front against the Palestinians in Lebanon. Chamoun also played a vital role against passing what was known as the tripartite agreement between Elie Hobeika, Walid Jumblatt and Nabih Berri as he supported Doctor Samir Geagea against the agreement.
During the War, the NLP and its militia, the Tigers (Numur in Arabic), number around 3500 participated in the Lebanese Front, and Chamoun was an active leader in the alliance. On 7 July 1980, "Day of the Long Knives", Bashir Gemayel launched a surprise attack against Tigers and absorbed them into the Lebanese Forces. After this the political and military significance of the NLP declined. The party again suffered a severe setback in August 1987 when Chamoun died. When the TIGER died he was succeeded by his son Dany Chamoun, who later on supported General Aoun in his double battles against the Syrians first and then the Lebanese Forces, Dany was assassinated under mysterious
Dany was succeeded by his brother, Dory Chamoun, who is now one of the major opposition characters in Lebanon and a vital member of the Kernet Shehwan gathering.