File - Elias Sarkis, new president of Lebanon, 28 April 1976, Beirut, Lebanon. (Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)
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Ahead of the 2014 presidential election, this is the sixth in a series of articles examining the circumstances and conditions that shaped the elections of Lebanon's 12 presidents since 1943 .An experienced lawyer and economist who narrowly lost to former President Sleiman Frangieh in the 1970 election, Sarkis returned to the stage six years later to bring an end to the fighting that had begun in 1975 – then known as the Two Year War. He ultimately failed in the face of a growing standoff between Israel and Syria and the shifting allegiances of the Christian Kataeb Party. Unlike his predecessors, Sarkis was not from a prominent Maronite family. Regardless, Syria and the Lebanese Front pressed on with the election, which saw their candidate, Sarkis, pitched against the increasingly isolated Raymond Eddeh – much to chagrin of Jumblatt and other leftists.Initially scheduled for late April, 60 of Parliament's 99 MPs voted to postpone the election to May 8 after intense opposition from Jumblatt over Syrian interference, according to A.J. Abraham's "The Lebanon War".Sixty-six of those present voted for Sarkis, so that even though he failed to get the two-thirds majority needed for election on the first ballot, he achieved the absolute majority needed in the second ballot.
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