Amin al-Hafez, 83; served as president of Lebanon in 1973
BEIRUT - Former Lebanese prime minister Amin al-Hafez, who served a turbulent two-month term in 1973 before he was forced to resign, died Monday. He was 83.
Mr. Hafez died in a Beirut hospital after a long-running battle with an undisclosed chronic illness, medical officials said.
A Sunni Muslim, he was picked by President Suleiman Franjieh to form a government in 1973.
Although the prime minister’s job is reserved for a Sunni under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system, Sunni religious leaders who opposed Franjieh refused to recognize the appointment. Mr. Hafez was forced to resign about two months later.
The crisis, along with a battle between Lebanese troops and Palestinian guerrillas that year, contributed to the tensions that burst into all-out civil war in 1975.
The sectarian conflict lasted 15 years and killed 150,000 people.
Mr. Hafez later served as a member of Parliament, representing his hometown of Tripoli until 1996.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora declared a three-day mourning period for Mr. Hafez, during which flags at government institutions will be flown at half-staff.