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Lebanese National Movement (LNM)

LEBANESE NATIONAL MOVEMENT (LNM)

Lebanese political bloc organized at the beginning of 1975. The LNM, comprised of fifteen political organizations of the left, with the exception of those close to Syria, succeeded the Alliance of National and Progressive Parties, formed in 1969. Among these organizations were: the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) of Kamal Jumblatt; the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP); the Communist Action in Lebanon Organization of Mohsen Ibrahim; the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP); the Baʿth Party of Abdul Majid Rafei; the Independent Nasserite Movement of Ibrahim Koleilat; the Arab Socialist Union; the Union of Nasserite Forces; the Lebanese Fatah Support Movement; the Kurdish Democratic Party Organization; the Arab Socialist Organization; the Socialist Action Party of Hussein Hamdan; the Christian Patriots Front of Suleiman Suleiman; and the Union of the Forces of the Working People. The Lebanese National Movement was financed mostly by Iraq. It was dominated by Jumblatt's PSP, and its political council was presided over by Jumblatt. Its platform, constituted on 18 August 1975, demanded nonsectarian government, proportional representation, limits on ministerial and parliamentary power, the reorganization of the army, the application of human rights, restructuring of the administration, and adoption of the principle of popular referendum on questions of national interest. These proposals, notably those related to institutional reform and the secularization of the state, were opposed by established Lebanese political figures.

Supporting the Palestinian resistance actions in Lebanon, the LNM created a common command with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to coordinate the military actions of the two movements. Their success provoked the Syrian intervention on the side of the Christians of the Lebanese Front (LF) in 1976. This made of Jumblatt an enemy of the Syrians. In March 1977 Jumblatt was assassinated by pro-Syrian factions of the SSNP, and his son Walid Kamal Jumblatt took over the leadership of the PSP and the Lebanese National Movement. Walid Jumblatt accommodated himself to the Syrians and attempted to use their support against the Maronites. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982, which resulted in the expulsion of the PLO fighters from the country, severely weakened the LNM, which was dissolved in October. In 1983 leading members joined with the Syrians and other Lebanese political factions successfully to pressure President Amin Jumayyil to abandon a proposed Lebanese-Israeli peace treaty, but the the alliance was not revived.

SEE ALSO Jumayyil, Amin; Jumblatt, Kamal; Jumblatt, Walid Kamal; Lebanese Communist Party; Lebanese Front; Palestine Liberation Organization.

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