Position: Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement Party
Biography: Michel Aoun leads Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement, one of the main political parties that is part of the coalition government. He was prime minister of one of the two governments that fought for power in the Lebanese civil war of 1988.
In 1955, he joined the army as a cadet, rose through the ranks and became commander-in-chief in 1984 after performing with distinction in the war with Syria. When Syria invaded Lebanon, Aoun was forced to flee to France in 1991.
He returned when Syrian forces left the country in 2005, becoming the head of the Free Patriotic Movement. In the 2005 elections, the bloc came fourth. The movement is the now second biggest party in Lebanon’s parliament. In January 2011, the Saad Hariri government was toppled by the resignation of the Free Patriotic Movement ministers. In the new government, Aoun’s bloc got 12 ministries.