Boutros Harb

Boutros Harb

Boutros Harb (بطرس حرب) (born in Tannourine, Lebanon in 1944), is a Lebanese politician.

A lawyer by profession, his first position was when he was elected in 1972 as deputy Maronite of Batroun, in the North Governorate of Lebanon. As the deputy, he was named Public Transport Minister for Labour and Minister of the National Education and Art Schools in 1979 under the government of Salim El-Hoss, remaining minister until 1980. In 1990, and until 1992, Mr. Harb returned to the Education Ministry under the cabinet of Prime Minister Omar Karame.

He was credited with helping during the Taef negotitions, which put a halt to the Lebanese civil war by electing a power sharing agreement within the Lebanese Parliament.

He was a member of the opposition under the governments of Rafiq Hariri; in particular to Nassib Lahoud, Salim El-Hoss, Omar Karami, Mohammad Youssef Beydoun and Hussein Husseini. He announced his candidacy for the 1998 Lebanese Presidential elections but withdrew his nomination the day the polls began and Émile Lahoud was elected unanimously.

After a short period of support for the government of Salim El-Hoss in 1998, he rejoined the opposition. In 2000, he breaks his alliance with Nayla Moawad and Omar Karami, and allies himself at the election booth with Soleiman Franjieh Jr., and the Tripoli Bloc of Mohammad Safadi and Najib Mikati.

In 2001, one of the founding members of the gathering of Kornet Chehwane strongly expresses his opposition to the policies of the Hariri government and to Syrian hegemony. In 2004, along with Nayla Moawad, Omar Karami, Salim El-Hoss, Hussein Husseini and Albert Mansour create the National Face for Reform. During the 2004, he declares himself a nominee for the Presidency of Lebanon, however due to a Syrian-engineered constitutional amendment extending the term of President Émile Lahoud, he does not get a chance to run. He then breaks his alliance with Omar Karami who he considered to be too pro-Syrian.

Cedar revolution - present

In 2005 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, Mr. Harb joined in on the massive protests and demonstrations against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon and demanded that Syrian troops withdraw immediately. Like many other, he accused the Syrian regime of ordering the death of Rafiq Hariri. As a member of the March 14th Alliance, he was one of the several candidates to run for the Lebanese Presidency in 2008 but all major parties decided to elect a compromise candidate, Michel Sleiman. In 2007, called for the integration of Hezbollah's military arm into the Lebanese Army.

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