Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state. With respect to governmental information, any government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public. State materials are protected due to either of two reasons: the classification of information as sensitive, classified or secret, or the relevance of the information to protecting the national interest. Many governments are subject to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation that are used to define the ambit of national interest; the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This philosophy is accompanied by legislation ensuring various degrees of freedom of scientific research and press.
The depth to which these laws are entrenched in a country's legal system can go as far down as its constitution. The concept of freedom of speech is covered by the same laws as freedom of the press, thereby giving equal treatment to spoken and published expression. Sweden was the first country in the world to adopt freedom of the press into its constitution with the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766. Freedom of the press is construed as an absence of interference by outside entities, such as a government or religious organization, rather than as a right for authors to have their works published by other people; this idea was famously summarized by the 20th century American journalist, A. J. Liebling, who wrote, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one". Freedom of the press gives the printer or publisher exclusive control over what the publisher chooses to publish, including the right to refuse to print anything for any reason. If the author cannot reach a voluntary agreement with a publisher to produce the author's work the author must turn to self-publishing.
Beyond legal definitions, several non-governmental organizations use other criteria to judge the level of press freedom around the world. Some create subjective lists, while others are based on quantitative data: Reporters Without Borders considers the number of journalists murdered, expelled or harassed, the existence of a state monopoly on TV and radio, as well as the existence of censorship and self-censorship in the media, the overall independence of media as well as the difficulties that foreign reporters may face to rank countries in levels of press freedom; the Committee to Protect Journalists systematically tracks the number of journalists killed and imprisoned in reprisal for their work. It says it uses the tools of journalism to help journalists by tracking press freedom issues through independent research, fact-finding missions, a network of foreign correspondents, including local working journalists in countries around the world. CPJ shares information on breaking cases with other press freedom organizations worldwide through the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of more than 119 free expression organizations.
CPJ tracks impunity in cases of journalist murders. CPJ staff applies strict criteria for each case. Freedom House studies the more general political and economic environments of each nation in order to determine whether relationships of dependence exist that limit in practice the level of press freedom that might exist in theory. Panels of experts assess the press freedom score and draft each country summary according to a weighted scoring system that analyzes the political, economic and safety situation for journalists based on a 100-point scale, it categorizes countries as having a free, party free, or not free press. Every year, the Committee to Protect Journalists releases its comprehensive list of all journalists killed in relation to their work, including profiles of each journalist and a database, an annual census of journalists in jail as of midnight on December 1. 2017 was a record year for journalists jailed with 262 journalists behind bars. Turkey and Egypt accounted for more than half of all journalists jailed globally.
Every year, Reporters Without Borders establish a subjective ranking of countries in terms of their freedom of the press. Press Freedom Index list is based on responses to surveys sent to journalists that are members of partner organizations of the RWB, as well as related specialists such as researchers and human rights activists; the survey asks questions about direct attacks on journalists and the media as well as other indirect sources of pressure against the free press, such as non-governmental groups. In 2016, the countries where press was the most free were Finland, Norway and New Zealand, followed by Costa Rica, Sweden and Jamaica; the country with the least degree of press freedom was Eritrea, followed by North Korea, Syria, China and Sudan. The problem with media in India, the world's largest democracy, is enormous. India doesn't have a model for a democratic press; the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has published a report on India stating that Indian journalists are forced—or feel compelled for the sake of job security—to report in ways th
2018 Lebanese general election
General elections were held in Lebanon on 6 May 2018. Although scheduled for 2013, the election was postponed three times in 2013, 2014 and 2017 under various pretexts, including the security situation, the failure of the Parliament to elect a new President, the technical requirements of holding an election. A new electoral law adopted in 2017 provides a proportional representation system for the first time in the history of the country. Hezbollah and its allies performed well in the elections, while the Future Movement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri saw its bloc shrink by 40%, from 33 to 20 MPs; the parliamentary bloc of the Lebanese Forces doubled from eight MPs to 15 MPs, but it was the Free Patriotic Movement who emerged as the largest bloc with 29 MPs, including 18 party members, six pro-FPM independents, five allies. FPM leader Gebran Bassil stated that FPM has won the elections in Lebanon by getting the largest bloc. Following the last parliamentary election of 2009, it took several months to form a new government.
Saad Hariri became prime minister in a March 14 Alliance government formed in November 2009. About a year Walid Jumblatt's PSP broke away from the March 14 alliance and withdrew its ministers. Jumblatt traveled to Syria for the first time in decades and met President Bashar al-Assad. After the government fell over the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a new government was formed by Najib Mikati that consisted of March 8 Alliance parties, as well as the PSP. Over the course of the Syrian Civil War, fissures started to grow in Lebanon as March 14 parties supported the opposition in Syria while March 8 parties were ostensibly supportive of the Syrian government in the early stages; the March 8 parties therefore faced accusation from the opposition and its affiliated media of kowtowing to the Syrian government. As the conflict started to spill over into Lebanon, both via refugees and Lebanon's own diverse demographics that are broadly reflective of Syria's own diversity, tensions started to grow.
A spate of sectarian kidnappings and threats followed. On 22 March 2013, Mikati resigned citing a negative climate over the appointment of a committee to oversee the election and the extension of Internal Security Forces head Ashraf Rifi, expected to retire in April. On 5 April, a new March 14-backed consensus candidate for prime minister was announced, Tammam Salam. A new President should have been elected by Parliament. However, there was a deadlock which resulted in fourteen fruitless attempts to choose a head of state. Therefore, Parliament decided on November 2014 to extend its term by 2 years and 7 months; the deadlock was perceived to arise from failure to reach quorum due to the voluntary absence of members from the ex- March 8 alliance. In June 2017 a new electoral law was passed, replacing the previous system under which the 128 members of parliament were elected from 26 multi-member constituencies in which voters cast as many votes as there were seats in their constituency and the candidates with the highest number of votes within each religious community were elected with a new electoral law instituting proportional representation in 15 multi-member constituencies while still maintaining the confessional distribution.
However, the 7 out of the 15 of the electoral districts are divided into 2 or more'minor districts'. Where applicable, preference vote is counted on the'minor district' level. Individuals could submit their candidacy for parliament until midnight of March 6, 2018. 976 candidates were registered, including 111 women. Candidates were obliged to join lists, which had to be finalized by March 26, 2018; the Shia electorate constituted the majority of registered voters in Bekaa III, South II and South III, together accounting for 79% of the total Shia electorate. The Sunni electorate constituted the majority of registered voters in three electoral districts. 97% of the Druze voters were registered in districts from which Druze parliamentarians were elected.96% of Alawite voters were registered in either the North I or North II electoral districts, which elected one Alawite parliamentarian each. Maronite Christians constituted the majority of voters in Mount Lebanon I and North III. North III hosted the largest concentration of Greek Orthodox Christian voters, representing around a fifth of all Greek Orthodox voters throughout the country.
According to 2017 data, the Greek Orthodox constituted 58% of the voters in the Koura minor district of North III. Bekaa I hosted the largest concentration of Greek Catholic voters, about a fifth of the nationwide Greek Catholic vote. Beirut I hosted the largest concentrations of Armenians, both Armenian Orthodox and Armenian Catholic voters, who elected 4 out of the 6 Armenian parliamentarians; the Minorities seat was now in Beirut I. Jewish voters were found in Beirut II, where they constituted 1.31% of the electorate. However, in the 2009 election only five Jews cast their votes in the Beirut III electoral district. Below is a summary of the demographics of the Lebanese electorate with data from 2017, divided by the qada administrative districts (or
Human rights are "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled" Examples of rights and freedoms which are thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and property, freedom of expression, pursuit of happiness and equality before the law. All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Ancient peoples did not have the same modern-day conception of universal human rights; the true forerunner of human-rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval natural law tradition that became prominent during the European Enlightenment. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the 20th century.17th-century English philosopher John Locke discussed natural rights in his work, identifying them as being "life and estate", argued that such fundamental rights could not be surrendered in the social contract.
In Britain in 1689, the English Bill of Rights and the Scottish Claim of Right each made illegal a range of oppressive governmental actions. Two major revolutions occurred during the 18th century, in the United States and in France, leading to the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen both of which articulated certain human rights. Additionally, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 encoded into law a number of fundamental civil rights and civil freedoms. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and the pursuit of Happiness. Philosophers such as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Hegel expanded on the theme of universality during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1831 William Lloyd Garrison wrote in a newspaper called The Liberator that he was trying to enlist his readers in "the great cause of human rights" so the term human rights came into use sometime between Paine's The Rights of Man and Garrison's publication.
In 1849 a contemporary, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about human rights in his treatise On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, influential on human rights and civil rights thinkers. United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis, in his 1867 opinion for Ex Parte Milligan, wrote "By the protection of the law, human rights are secured. In Western Europe and North America, labour unions brought about laws granting workers the right to strike, establishing minimum work conditions and forbidding or regulating child labour; the women's rights movement succeeded in gaining for many women the right to vote. National liberation movements in many countries succeeded in driving out colonial powers. One of the most influential was Mahatma Gandhi's movement to free his native India from British rule. Movements by long-oppressed racial and religious minorities succeeded in many parts of the world, among them the civil rights movement, more recent diverse identity politics movements, on behalf of women and minorities in the United States.
The foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 1864 Lieber Code and the first of the Geneva Conventions in 1864 laid the foundations of International humanitarian law, to be further developed following the two World Wars. The League of Nations was established in 1919 at the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I; the League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation and improving global welfare. Enshrined in its Charter was a mandate to promote many of the rights which were included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the League of Nations had mandates to support many of the former colonies of the Western European colonial powers during their transition from colony to independent state. Established as an agency of the League of Nations, now part of United Nations, the International Labour Organization had a mandate to promote and safeguard certain of the rights included in the UDHR: the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity and human dignity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in response to the barbarism of World War II. The UDHR urges member nations to promote a number of human, civil and social rights, asserting these rights are part of the "foundation of freedom and peace in the world"; the declaration was the first international legal effort to limit the behavior of states and press upon them duties to their citizens following the model of the rights-duty duality....recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and peace in the world The UDHR was framed by members of the Human Rights Commission, with Eleanor Roosevelt as Chair, who began to discuss an International Bill of Rights in 1947. The members of the Commission did not agree on the form of such a bill of rights, whe
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins
The Lebanese Phalanges Party, better known in English as the Phalange, is a Christian Democratic political party in Lebanon. Despite being secular, it is supported by Maronite Catholics; the party played a major role in the Lebanese Civil War. In decline in the late 1980s and 1990s, the party re-emerged in the early 2000s, it is now part of the March 14 Alliance. The Lebanese Phalanges Party is known as Phalanges Libanaises in French and either Kataeb or Phalangist Party in Arabic. Kataeb is the plural of Katiba, a translation into Arabic of the Greek word phalanx, the origin of the Spanish term Falange; the Kataeb party was formed in 1936 as a Maronite paramilitary youth organization by Pierre Gemayel who modeled the party after Spanish Falange and Italian Fascist parties he had observed as an Olympic athlete during the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin Nazi Germany. The movement's uniforms included brown shirts and members used the Roman salute. In an interview by Robert Fisk, Gemayel stated about the Berlin Olympics: I was the captain of the Lebanese football team and the president of the Lebanese Football federation.
We went to the Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin. And I saw this discipline and order, and I said to myself: "Why can't we do the same thing in Lebanon?" So when we came back to Lebanon, we created this youth movement. When I was in Berlin Nazism did not have the reputation which it has now. Nazism? In every system in the world, you can find something good, but Nazism was not Nazism at all. The word came afterwards. In their system, I saw discipline, and we in the Middle East, we need discipline more than anything else. He founded the party along with four other young Lebanese: Charles Helou, Chafic Nassif, Emile Yared and Georges Naccache. Pierre was chosen to lead the organization, in part because he was not a political figure at that time. During the first years of the Kataeb Party, the Party was opposed to having anyone dominate Lebanon, they opposed the pan-Arabists who tried to take over Lebanon and the French, whom they saw as trying to infiltrate their culture and impose themselves within Lebanon.
Pierre and the Kataeb Party have always believed in an independent and sovereign Lebanon free of all foreign influence. It took part in the struggle against the French Mandate, until Lebanese independence was proclaimed in November 1943, its motto was "God and Family." The influence of the Phalangists was limited in the early years of Lebanon's independence, but came to prominence as a strong ally of the government in the 1958 crisis. In the aftermath of the crisis, Pierre Gemayel was appointed to the cabinet, two years was elected to the National Assembly. In 1968, the party joined the Helf Alliance formed with the two other big Christian parties in Lebanon: the National Liberal Party of former President Camille Chamoun, National Bloc of Raymond Eddé, won 9 seats in the parliamentary elections held that year, making it one of the largest groupings in Lebanon's notoriously fractured political system. By the end of the decade, the party created its own militia, the Kataeb Regulatory Forces and soon clashes began with the rising Palestinian militant guerrillas.
By the 1970s, the party had become a political giant in Lebanon, with an estimated membership of 60,000 to 70,000. The vast majority of members were Maronites, but some were members of minority Christian communities, Shiites and Jews; the primacy of preserving the Lebanese nation, but with a "Phoenician" identity, distinct from its Arab, Muslim neighbors. Party policies have been uniformly anticommunist and anti-Palestinian and have allowed no place for pan-Arab ideals. A nationalistic ideology that considers the Lebanese people Maronites, to be a unique nation independent from the Arab nation, it considers Lebanese as a Phoenician people. Independent and pluralistic Lebanon that safeguards basic human rights and fundamental freedoms for all its constituents. Lebanon a liberal outlet where Eastern Christianity Eastern Catholicism, can politically, economically flourish at peace with its surroundings. Developing the political system along decentralized lines in order to genuinely guarantee basic rights and freedoms to all constituencies and thereafter constructively manage Lebanon's cultural pluralism.
Ending the military presence of several Lebanese and non-Lebanese groups such as Hezbollah, Palestinian armed militias and other Islamists, call for their immediate decommissioning. As a founding member of the United Nations, commit to all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions 1559, 1680, 1701 and 1757. In line with the Lebanese constitution and the broad Lebanese consensus on the issue, reject any form of permanent settlement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon at the expense of their right of return. Safeguarding the Lebanese Christian community in Lebanon as a free and secure entity enjoying complete mastery over its destiny and future; the Kataeb is in stark disagreement with Hezbollah over many of its domestic and regional policies. The Party believes that Hezbollah is trying to impose its culture and will on the Lebanese society by means of its illegitimate arms, thus undermining Lebanon's sovereignty and pluralistic nature, and by being ideologically and strategically beholden to Iran and Syria, Hezbollah is unilaterally subverting the wishes of a considerable number of Lebanese who wish t
President of Lebanon
The President of the Lebanese Republic is the head of state of Lebanon. The president is elected by the parliament for a term of six years, not renewable. By convention, the president is always a Maronite Christian. From the expiration of the term of President Michel Suleiman in May 2014 until October 31, 2016, the parliament was unable to obtain the majority required to elect a president, the office was vacant for two and a half years, despite more than 30 votes being held. On October 31, 2016, the parliament elected Michel Aoun as President; the constitution requires the president hold the same qualifications as a member of Parliament, which are Lebanese citizenship and attainment of the age of twenty-one. Though not stated in the constitution, an understanding known as the National Pact, agreed in 1943, customarily limits the office to members of the Maronite Christian faith; this is based on a gentlemen's agreement between Lebanon's Maronite Christian President Bechara El Khoury and his Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Riad Al Solh, reached in 1943, when Lebanon became independent of France, described that the President of the Republic was to be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, the Speaker of Parliament a Shia Muslim.
Article 50 of the constitution of Lebanon requires the president to take an oath upon assuming office, prescribed thus: As described in the constitution, the president is commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces and security forces. In addition, he may issue "emergency" legislation by decree. In practice, Lebanon being a parliamentary republic, the president is the repository of reserve powers and the office is symbolic; the president remains by far and large the most important member of the executive, his veto on any legislation de facto ensures that it will not be law. This is despite his powers having been somewhat moderated under Ta'if, notably with the increase in the powers of the Cabinet, his major responsibilities include: Issue the decree appointing the Prime Minister independently. Issue the decree forming the government, co-signed by the Prime Minister; the government must receive a vote-of-confidence by the Chamber of Deputies in order to become active. Fire the Prime Minister.
This automatically fires the entire government. Fire an individual minister. Requires confirmation of 2/3 of the cabinet and the signature of the PM. If more than 1/3 of the ministers constituting the initial government are fired/resign the entire government is considered resign. Sign into law and promulgate laws. Veto bills passed by the cabinet; the veto can be overriden by the Chamber of Deputies through a constitutional procedure. The cabinet cannot override the President. Sign decrees concerning a specific ministry. Countersigned by the PM and ministers involved. Negotiate and ratify international treaties. All treaties must be approved by 2/3 of the cabinet before entering into force. Treaties involving spending that cannot be cancelled every new year must be approved by Parliament. Dissolve the parliament. Must be countersigned by the PM, requires a 2/3 approval of the cabinet. Pass "emergency decrees" without the parliament's approval. Requires a half + 1 majority of the ministers. To pass emergency decrees without the parliament's approval, the parliament must spend 40 days without taking any action on a bill, declared urgent by the president.
To Ta'if, the president only needed the "favourable advice" of his ministers, rather than a clear consensus/majority. While it may seem that the president is a "symbolic role" or subjected to the will of his ministers, constitutionally, it is not so; the president retains the right to fire the entire government at will, is still the person who nominates every minister - thereby ensuring that they will all be favorable to him. In practice, the president's office has been weakened because of a) no clear majorities of parties and blocs in Parliament, b) the election of "consensus", c) the formation of divided cabinets; the perceived weakness of the president is thus rooted in political, rather than constitutional, issues. Following the ratification of the Ta'if Accord, the Constitution laid out a preamble for the three "key" executive posts: the President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers; the preamble states the following: The posts that come with the presidency are as follow: Chair of the Supreme Defense Council.
Commander in chief of the armed forces. State President of Lebanon; the presidential residence is the Baabda Palace, located southeast of Beirut. The president's car is a W221 Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard armoured limousine and it is escorted by the Republican Guard's SUVs and other security vehicles including the preceding official state car, an armoured W140 S 600 now used as a back up limo. Thirty to sixty days before the expiration of a president's term, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies calls for a special session to elect a new president, which selects a candidate for a six-year term on a secret ballot in which a tw
Gebran Gerge Bassil is a Lebanese politician, as of 20 September 2015, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement. Bassil was an activist for the Free Patriotic Movement from 1998 to 2005. In 2009, he served as the Minister of Telecommunications as the Minister of Water and Energy in 2011 and is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants. In September 2015, he became the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement taking over the position, occupied by his father-in-law, founder of the FPM and Lebanese President, Michel Aoun. Bassil was born in a Maronite Christian family. Bassil received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in civil engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1992 and 1993 respectively, he was a member of a number of associations: the Lebanese Red Cross and Rotary Club of Batroun, Lebanon. Between the years of 1998 and 2005, Gebran Bassil was an activist for various positions in the Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon. In 2005, he became a candidate in the general elections in the district of Batroun.
He didn't succeed at getting elected. From 2005 to 2008, Bassil became the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, he served as the Minister of telecommunications in the Lebanese cabinet led by Fouad Siniora from May 2008 to June 2009, as the minister of energy in the cabinet headed by Saad Hariri Bassil lost the general elections held in 2009. He has been serving as the Minister of Energy and Water in the cabinet headed by Najib Mikati since June 2011, assumed the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants as of February 2014. In the general election of 2018, Bassil was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Batroun-Koura-Zgharta-Bsharri electoral district. On 12 January 2011, the government collapsed after Bassil announced that all ten opposition ministers had resigned following months of warnings by Hezbollah that it would not remain inactive should there be indictments against the group; the New York Times suggested the resignations came after the collapse of talks between Syria and Saudi Arabia to ease tensions in Lebanon.
Lebanon's president Aoun and some Lebanese officials including Bassil believed that the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri was made under coercion by Saudis and have claimed that the Saudis have kept him hostage. This led Bassil to visit multiple European countries and meet with senior EU leaders to rally diplomatic support for Lebanon and its stability. During his European tour, he met with High Representative/Vice-President of the European Union Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, German FM Sigmar Gabriel, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron. Bassil and his wife Chantal Michel Aoun have three children, his father in law is the current Lebanese president and the former leader and the founder of the Free Patriotic Movement, Michel Aoun. In a meeting with FPM supporters in Batroun district, Bassil accused Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri of seeking to derail a diaspora conference organized by the Foreign Ministry in Abidjan by forcing Shiite businessmen to boycott the gathering.
Bassil accused Berri of threatening to have Shiite businessmen participating in the conference fired from their jobs and the bank funding the diaspora gathering closed. Bassil's comments were revealed in a leaked video, broadcast by Al Jadeed local TV station; the video sparked an outcry on social media with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Berri's top political aide, blasting Bassil for crossing a red line and describing him as a "political dwarf" with sectarian motives. The leaked video triggered a wave of street protests by the Berri's supporters, who responded by blocking a number of Beirut’s major roads and vital arteries with burning tires. Bassil’s “thug” remark was the tip of the iceberg of long-simmering tension between the FPM and the Amal Movement that started with a decree that sought to promote a number of Army officers who has served under Aoun in the late 1980s when he was Army commander. Bassil was criticized by many Lebanese politicians after an interview in December 2017 with Al-Mayadeen in which he stated that Lebanon does not have an ideological problem with Israel.
He said in that interview that he was not against Israel "living in security". In March 2018 Bassil proposed amending Lebanese naturalization laws to allow citizenship to be passed from mothers onto their children; the bill drew criticism for not applying to women in marriages with men from neighbouring countries which activists argue is a violation of their rights. List of foreign ministers in 2017 List of current foreign ministers Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun