|Profile Sheikh Pierre Gemayel|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 23 November 2006|
A Tribute to the Late Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
In Memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel, at the time of his brutal Assassination Lebanon witnessed a rebirth of the Cedars Revolution
A rebirth of the Cedars Revolution asking for the Truth behind Lebanon's Enemies
November 23, 2006
Political leader who opposed Syrian influence in Lebanon
Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s Industry Minister, was his country’s youngest MP, a rising star in his party and the scion of the Gemayel political dynasty. He was the fifth prominent anti-Syrian political figure to be killed since the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
Born in Bekfaya in 1972, Pierre Gemayel was the son of a former Lebanese President, Amine Gemayel, and a leader of Lebanon’s Maronite Christian community. A lawyer by profession, he was elected to parliament in 2000 and 2005.
He was a prominent leader of the Christian Phalange Party founded by his grandfather, also Pierre Gemayel, a leader in the movement for independence from the French in the 1930s. Universally known as “Sheikh Pierre”, he died in 1984.
Gemayel was among the Lebanese cabinet members who voted recently to support the international tribunal established to investigate the Hariri assassination, widely blamed on Syria. Syria denied involvement, but Hariri’s death aroused massive Lebanese public protests against Damascus and resulted in the withdrawal of the Syrian forces that had been stationed in Lebanon for 20 years.
In the political upheaval that followed, an anti-Syrian coalition formed a majority in Parliament, supported by both Christians and Muslims and viewed as being pro-Western. It was opposed by the Syrian and Iranian-backed Shia Hezbollah party.
Lebanese law requires the dissolution of the government if one third of the 24 member Cabinet resign or become unavailable. It has been speculated that Gemayel’s assassination was an attempt by pro-Syrian groups to reach the required third, and so force the current Government from power. With the recent resignation of six Hezbollah MPs from the Cabinet, added to Gemayel’s death, the resignation or death of only two more ministers would topple the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
Gemayel was a key figure in Siniora’s cabinet. A soft-spoken presence, he was seen as a moderate voice in the Maronite Christian camp which lost much of its power during the 1975-90 civil war, and has been weakened since then by infighting.
Gemayel met his death at 34, the age that his uncle, Bashir Gemayel, was killed in a huge explosion in 1982, after being elected president but before taking office. Bashir Gemayel had been the Commander of the Christian militia known as the Lebanese Forces.
After this assassination his brother, Amine, Pierre Gemayel’s father, became President. He oversaw the decline of his nation and the erosion of the influence of the Lebanese Christians during the harsh final years of the civil war.
Effective exercise of the presidency proved an almost impossible task with foreign armies, those of Syria and Israel, occupying two thirds of the country, and private militias fighting each other for control of the remainder. Taxes could not be collected, anarchy prevailed. In 1988 Amine was barred from standing for re-election. He then went into exile for 12 years, hoping his absence would help to heal divisions in Lebanon.
Pierre Gemayel was 10 when his father became President in 1982. He did not accompany him into exile. In 1999, with Amine still barred from Lebanon, he married his wife, Patricia Daif, a Lebanese Christian in Limassol, Cyprus, so that his father could attend.
He is survived by her and by two sons.
Pierre Gemayel, politician, was born on September 23, 1972. He was assassinated on November 21, 2006, aged 34
by Times Online
|Last Updated ( Monday, 10 March 2008 )|
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