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Suleiman Franjieh
Arabic: sulayman franjiyya
Other spelling: Suleiman Frangieh

Suleiman Franjieh.

Suleiman Franjieh.

(1910- 92) Lebanese politician and president (1970- 76).
In his politics as president, Franjieh was anti-Palestinian, and he was autocratic and nepotistic, giving clansmen important positions regardless of their qualifications. He became very unpopular with Muslims and nationalists, but the first general elections after the Civil War in 1992 proved that he was still very popular among Christians.
Franjieh was also, however, the man recommending parliamentary reform in 1976, giving the Muslims more influence. This was not carried out until 1989, and then as part of the agreement that lead to the end of the Civil War.

1910 June 15: Born in Zgharta, into a wealthy and influential Maronite Christian family. The Franjieh family leads one of Lebanon's strongest clans.
1930's: Receives his education in Tripoli and Beirut.
1957: Franjieh is implicated in the assassination of members of a rival clan. He flees to Syria where he becomes friends with future president, Hafez al-Assad.
— Upon his return to Lebanon, he becomes leader of the Franjieh clan, and begins his political career.
1958 May- June: Franjieh supports the forces that oppose president Camille Chamoun in the civil war of this year.
1960: Is elected to parliament and becomes minister in the government.
1961: Steps down as minister.
1968: Is appointed minister in a new government.
1970: Steps down as minister.
August: As he campaigns for the presidency, Franjieh gets the support of Chamoun and Pierre Gemayel. He defeats Elias Sarkis, but only with the narrowest margin in the parliament: one vote.
1975 April: The Lebanese Civil War begins.
1976. Franjieh issues a Constitutional Reform Document, in which he changes the 6:5 ratio between Christians and Muslims in the parliament to a 5:5 parity. This reform is not carried out.
September: When his presidency comes to an end, Franjieh joins the Lebanese Front of Chamoun and Bashir Gemayel.
1978 June: Gemayel has Franjieh's son, Tony, killed. Franjieh turns against Gemayel and joins the camp of Walid Jumblatt and Rashid Karami. As a result of this murder, the possible end to the war is pushed far into the future.
1988: Since Lebanon suddenly has 2 governments, Franjieh supports the one with basis in the parliament, in opposition to Michel Aoun.
1992: In the first general elections after the Civil War, Franjieh's party gets half of the Maronite seats in the parliament.
July 23: Dies in Beirut.

By Tore Kjeilen