File - A picture of Lebanese MP Michel Sassine officially announcing MP Suleiman Franjieh's victory during the 1970 Lebanese presidential elections. (Wikipedia)
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Ahead of the 2014 presidential election, this is the fifth in a series of articles examining the circumstances and conditions that shaped the elections of Lebanon's 12 presidents since 1943 .BEIRUT: Elected with a margin of one vote in 1970 on the back of a growing wave of anti-Chehabism sentiment, former President Sleiman Frangieh was saddled with the unenviable task of preventing Lebanon from sliding into a brutal 15-year civil war that would break out before the end of his term. Hailing from the northern Christian mountain town of Zghorta, he was "routinely drawn by cartoonists in peasant costume, with a hunting rifle slung over his shoulder," according to historian Samir Kassir in his tome "Beirut".He was largely elected to bring an end to the all-pervasive grip of the Second Bureau, the Army intelligence body that had become closely associated with President Fouad Chehab and his successor Charles Helou – something Frangieh succeeded in doing. Less than a year later, however, Frangieh was called back to take up the family mantle after his brother passed away.
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