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Constitutional Bloc


twentieth-century parliamentary bloc in lebanon.

The Constitutional Bloc was formed in 1936 to call for the restoration of the constitution in Lebanon after its suspension by French mandate authorities. It was headed by Bishara al-Khuri, who championed the cause of Lebanon's independence. Although the bloc cannot be considered a political party, it did not differ from other political organizations in Lebanon in terms of its personality-oriented structure. Its members were drawn from the commercial and political elite, who did not agree with the views of Emile Eddé, a supporter of French policies in Lebanon. It was most active in Mount Lebanon and Beirut, among Maronites and Druze. After 1941, the bloc became identified with British policy in the Middle East. The cohesiveness of the bloc, which was based on the shared goal of independence, quickly splintered after al-Khuri was elected president in 1943. He continued to use the bloc as a tool against his well-organized enemies. It continued to operate as a political force, with limited influence and appeal, into the 1960s. After al-Khuri retired, his son Khalil al-Khuri assumed leadership of the bloc. With the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, the bloc ceased to exist, and Khalil retired to France.

see also eddÉ, emile; khuri, bishara al-; lebanese civil war (19751990).

As'ad AbuKhalil

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