General Fouad Chehab



The 1958 crisis led to the fall of President Camille Chamoun and the rise of General Fouad Chehab . The Chehab regime introduced many reforms that were satisfactory by the mulsims popoulation. However, some reforms did have negative repercussions among the lebanese.

President General Fouad Chehab gathered arab muslim opinion and respect in his favor due to his position during the 1958 civil war in which he did not use military force against the rebels due to the coalition of different sects in his army. Furthermore, his government gained support from the muslim community due to his accomplishment.

First of all, President Chehab’s first objective was to promote national unity among lebanese. All people working in the administrative level should maintain an equal status depsite their religious differences. This 50/50 representation favored the muslims because of their over representation ratio compared to the christians in civil service.

Moreover, the Chehab regime contributed in developing teh public work of the neglected regions of Lebanon. Most of those regions were inhabited by a muslim majority and the government brought in some basic changes such as renewing the roads, supplying water and electricity. The development plan was successful especially in the shia regions.

Further economic and social reforms were in need. With the cooperation of Pere Louis Joseph Lebret, founder of the Instiut de Recherche et de Formation en vue de Develeppement (IRFD), General Chehab released a report on the conomical and social changes planned to take place, an example is the social security plan.

On the economical level, President Chehab favored the control of the economy so as to produce a fair distribution of national income and to make the outcome accessible to the population as a whole.

Moreover, he envisioned the administration reform as a whole. He surrounded himself with loyal and efficient civil servants, decreasing the percentage of corruption among high level officials. He also decreased the politicians’ contact with the administration and encircled himself with those who abide by his new ideas and reforms of the administrative rules and procedures.

The Civil Service Council was introduced under his government with the aim of training public officials so as to recruit them into different jobs. The Central Inspection Board controlled the proper function of the administration.

The administrative reforms were efficient and succeeded in maintaining religious equality among the population and decrease religious discrimination.

Other main success in the rule of President Chehab was the foreign affairs agenda. To his contact, the arab nationalistic feeling decreased with the collapse of the UAR in 1961 leading the lebanese muslims to end rallying for the Nasserism cause ending therefore the chaos of the early years.

Thus the lebanese muslims became more interested in their internal political affairs. President Chehab established a sense of security within the lebanese soil by ending the rule of the gangs.

In conclusion, President Chehab ruled Lebanon through the laws of the constitution. He promoted internal national unity and equality among the different sects in the public life. He introduced economical and social changes, developed the rural regions of Lebanon. HOwever, most importantly he contributed to the emergence of a solid administration led by competent and non- corrupt loyals.


Author: Patyl-Astrid

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecile Beaton

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