Timeline: The roller coaster career of Michel Aoun
BEIRUT: Main presidential candidate Gen. Michel Aoun has had a fiery military and political career. Following are the main highlights:
Born in the municipality of Haret Hreik, a southern suburb of Beirut.
Graduates from College Des Frères Secondary School in Furn al-Shubbak.
Graduates from Military Academy with the rank of first lieutenant specializing in artillery divisions.
Aoun’s predominantly Christian 8th Mechanized Infantry Battalion fought the pro-Syrian Shiite, Druze and Palestinian forces in Souq al-Gharb in Mount Lebanon.
Promoted to the rank of general, and appointed Army commander
Sept. 22, 1988:
Parliament failed to elect a successor. Outgoing President Amine Gemayel dismissed the government and appointed a sixmember interim military government headed by Aoun.
March 14, 1989:
Lunched “War of Liberation” against the Syrian army, shelled mainly Muslim West Beirut neighborhoods in the process.
Members of parliament sign the Taif Accord which brings about a political settlement to Lebanese Civil War. Aoun refused to be part of the process citing Syrian tutelage, and dissolving parliament.
Jan. 31, 1990:
Aoun-led Army units and Lebanese Forces militia of Samir Geagea clash during “a war of elimination.” Fighting lasts several months and leaves at least 2,000 dead.
Oct. 13, 1990:
Syrians bombarded the Baabda Palace with airstrikes and artillery fire. Aoun fled to the French Embassy in Beirut, leaving behind his wife and three daughters.
Is exiled to France after spending months taking shelter at the French Embassy in Beirut.
Dec. 12, 2003:
Aoun lobbying efforts result in U.S. passing Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act
May 7, 2005:
Returns to Lebanon a few weeks after Syrian withdrawal.
Feb. 5, 2006:
Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in the Mar Mikhael Church in Chiyah. Aoun joins March 8 coalition.
Supports Hezbollah in war with Israel.
FPM joins Cabinet for the first time, represented by three ministers.
Takes part in Doha Accords which result in election of Michel Sleiman as president.
FPM wins 27 seats in Parliament, participates in new Cabinet with five ministers.
Dec. 10, 2009:
Visits Syrian President Bashar Assad for the first time in an effort to amend ties.
Aoun topples Hariri Cabinet along with March 8 allies.
Aoun voices support for Syrian regime following uprising.
Aoun holds talks with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri but to no result.
Michel Sleiman’s term ends. Aoun announces candidacy
Aoun and Geagea convene in historic reconciliation dubbed Maarab Agreement. Geagea nominates Aoun for presidency.
Hariri’s Chief of Staff Nader Hariri and FPM President Gebran Bassil reach an understanding to nominate Aoun.
Hariri formally endorses Aoun for the presidency.
Oct. 20, 2016: