On November 24, 1989, Elias Hraoui was elected President of the Lebanese Republic under extremely difficult security conditions, after the assassination of President Rene Mouawad. In 1995, his presidency was extended for a term of three years.

President Elias Hraoui was a model of courage and endeavor in Lebanon's emergence from war to civil peace. He faced crisis, with patience and tenacity, and worked relentlessly during 9 years to anchor national unity, restore vitality to Lebanese life, rebuild the Republic, launch the process of reconstruction and liberation, and establish sovereignty on all Lebanese territory.



 

The Presidential Period

24 October 1989 - 22 October 1998

The Politician, The President

The Presidential Period, 24 October 1989 - 22 October 1998:  

Elias Hraoui was elected President of the Republic on November 24, 1989, in the midst of very difficult circumstances.  Following the Independence Day ceremonies, held on November 22 of each year, President Elect Rene Moawads’ convoy left the building of the Ministry of Interior at Sanayeh in Ras Beirut and headed to Ramlett El Bayda where his temporary headquarters were located.  However, in Mahallat Al Zareef, a car bomb was detonated, killing President Moawad and all of his entourage.

At that time, Lebanon was experiencing severe divisions that can be summarized as follows:
- On September 22, 1988, at midnight, following Parliaments’ repeated failure to elect a new president for the Republic, President Amin Gemayel issued a decree, fifteen minutes before the end of his term, appointing Army Commander Michel Aoun president of the Republic on a transitional government consisting of six officers from the Army Leadership’s Military Council.

- Prime Minister Selim Al Hoss (appointed on June first, 1987) rejected this decree and considered himself the legitimate president of the transitional government.

- Lebanon had two governments: The Military Council with three Muslim members resigned from the first government, headed by Aoun, and the second government headed by Al Hoss and consisted of the ministers previously appointed there to.  
Immediately, following to his appointment, Commander Aoun took up residence at Baabda Palace and transformed it into reinforced military barracks . Al Hoss remained at the governmental headquarters in Sanayeh.

In light of these events, Arab countries formed a committee of foreign ministers to monitor the situation and attempt to reconcile the various parties . It asked the Algerian delegate, Mr. Al Akhdar Al Ibrahimi to visit Lebanese leaders and help them reconcile . However, rather than reconcile, intractable differences remained and were exacerbated by fighting that broke out along traditional fronts between the Lebanese Army, receiving its orders from Commander Aoun, and Lebanese fighters opposing him and supported by the Syrian Army. Thereafter, military battles erupted between Aoun and the “Lebanese Forces” and the fights moved to the Eastern Region of Lebanon.

On September 30, 1989, members of Parliament headed to the city of Taif in Saudi Arabia, where they spent a month discussing possible solutions to the situation in Lebanon . They concluded by issuing the “National Accord Document” which came to be known as the Taif Agreement.  However, Commander Aoun refused to ratify this document and, on October 4, announced the dissolution of Parliament . However, it did not take effect until after it elected member Rene Moawad as President of the Republic on October 5 at the Qlaiat Airport in the North . During his few days as President of the Republic, Moawad sought to form a national unity government . However, he was killed before he could finish the task.

On November 24, 1989, Parliament met at Chtaura Park Hotel and elected Elias Hraoui with a vote of 47 out of 52 votes and with five white papers.

Main and important facts of the Presidential Period:

This section of the website contains fully detailed information on main and most important facts during years of President Elias Hraouis’ mandate, based on rummaged around information from Lebanese Local newspaper at that time, between 24 October 1989 and 22 October 1998, presently available in the Arabic language only.

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