Dany Chamoun : biography
Dany Chamoun () (26 August 1934 – 21 October 1990) was a prominent Lebanese politician. A Maronite Christian and the younger son of former President Camille Chamoun, Dany 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.
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.
In 1976, the NLP Tigers under Dany's command along with the Phalangist Kataeb Regulatory Forces, Al-Tanzim and Guardians of the Cedars formed a joined militia command under the name Lebanese Forces.
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 to self-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 then President Elias Hrawi, who was elected under the Taif Agreement.
Early life and education
Chamoun was born in Deir el-Qamar on 26 August 1934. He studied civil engineering in the United Kingdom.
On 21 October 1990, Dany Chamoun, along with his German-born second wife Ingrid, and his two sons, Tarek (7) and Julian (5), were assassinated. Tamara, his daughter, survived. The assassination occurred after full invasion of Beirut by Syria.
Dany's rival Christian leader Samir Geagea head of the Lebanese Forces, was subsequently tried for the murder. He was sentenced to death which was commuted to life imprisonment. Geagea served 11 years in jail yet was acquitted in 2005, following the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Chamoun's brother has denied that Dany was murdered by the leader of the Lebanese Forces, and today is currently allied with them in the March 14 Alliance. Dany's first daughter, Tracy Chamoun, on the other hand, considers Geagea to have murdered her father. Tracy authored a book about all of her perception of the unfortunate event of the assassination, and she is currently considering running for parliamentary elections in Lebanon, to the side of Michel Aoun, her late father's ally.
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