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Chamoun, Dori (1931–)

CHAMOUN, DORI (1931–)

Lebanese political figure. Born in November 1931 at Dayr al-Qamar, Lebanon, Dori Chamoun is the son of the former Lebanese president Camille Chamoun, and the brother of Dany Chamoun (who was assassinated, along with his wife and two of his children on 21 October 1990). With a degree in commercial law, Dori Chamoun was a businessman until the mid-1970s. In 1975 he became secretary general of the National Liberal Party (NLP), a rightist party founded by his father. In September 1978, along with Bashir Jumayyil, he opened the office of the American Lebanese League in Washington, whose purpose was to organize the support of the U.S.-based Lebanese community in the struggle against the Syrian presence in Lebanon. On 2 September 1985 he became president of the NLP. Between 1986 and 1990 he returned to business, leaving his post as head of the NLP to his brother Dany.

In May 1991, after his brother was assassinated, Dori Chamoun was reelected president of the NLP. In June 1998 he became a town councillor of his native city, Dayr al-Qamar. In April 2001 Chamoun helped to found the Qornet Shehwan Gathering (named after the Maronite monastery in which the founding meetings had been held), a coalition of Christian political groups that oppose the government and the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Qornet Shehwan formally advocates judiciary reform and the elimination of corruption, and has made gestures toward the Druze and other non-Christian Lebanese factions; generally, however, it has not managed to rise above its Maronite factionalist origins. It is understood to be dominated by its more right-wing elements. For the elections of May 2004, Qornet Shehwan formed a unified electoral list with the backing of such groups as the Lebanese Forces and the Phalange Party opposition.

SEE ALSO Chamoun, Camille; Jumayyil, Bashir.

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