Chamoun granddaughter launches bid for Lebanon presidency

Chamoun granddaughter launches bid for Lebanon presidency

BEIRUT (AFP): Tracy Chamoun, an ex-ambassador and granddaughter of late president Camille Chamoun, announced Monday she will run for the presidency of crisis-hit Lebanon, in a rare such bid by a woman in the Arab state.

“I announce to the Lebanese people, and their lawmakers… my candidacy in Lebanon’s upcoming presidential elections,” Chamoun told a news conference marking the launch of her campaign for the post, which is reserved for Lebanon’s Maronite Christians.

“I have a new vision for the republic, one that can offer solutions to the economic, political and social problems,” plaguing the state, she added, styling herself as a bulwark against the incumbent ruling class.

Elections are expected to be held before Michel Aoun’s six-year presidential mandate expires in October, but many expect delays in light of deep political divisions.

Chamoun’s candidacy is a rare move in a country that saw its first female presidential candidate in 2014, when little-known lawyer Nadine Moussa decided to run.

It took Lebanon’s bitterly divided political class more than two years to elect Aoun in 2016 — a delay the country can ill afford this time around in light of an unprecedented economic crisis.

Despite mounting woes, parliament has rarely met since it was elected in May.

Chamoun served as Lebanon’s ambassador to Jordan for three years before stepping down in August 2020 in the wake of a monster explosion at Beirut’s port that she and many others blamed on government ineptitude.

She is the founder of the Liberal Democrats Party of Lebanon — one of the first in the country to be established by a woman but which has little political sway.

The former ambassador is a granddaughter of Camille Chamoun, who was Lebanon’s president from 1952 to 1958.

Her father Dany Chamoun was assassinated in 1990, a murder blamed on rival Christian leader Samir Geagea.

Geagea, who is also expected run for president, was convicted in 1994 for Chamoun’s killing — a charge he denies as politically motivated.

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