Editor’s note: Ahead of the 2014 presidential election, this is the seventh in a series of articles examining the circumstances and conditions that shaped the elections of Lebanon’s 12 presidents since 1943. BEIRUT: Elected in 1982, while most of Lebanon was under Israeli occupation, controversial leader Bachir Gemayel is the only Lebanese presidential candidate to have been assassinated before he could be sworn in. Born in 1947 to Pierre Gemayel, the founder of the Christian Kataeb Party, Bachir rose to prominence with the start of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War.


The fighting pitted the Kataeb, Camille Chamoun’s National Liberal Party and other Christian groups against the Lebanese National Movement, a coalition of leftist, mainly Muslim groups allied to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Young and charismatic, the UniversitĂ© Saint Joseph law student used force to unite most Christian armed groups under the command of the Lebanese Forces, which he founded in 1976. He was known for his hard-line stances, which were manifested in his opposition to the presence in Lebanon of Palestinian armed groups and refugees as well as Syrian troops. [Link]