Samir Franjieh Passes Away after Battle with Illness

File picture dated 23 June 2005 shows Lebanese MP Samir Franjieh during a meeting of the opposition at a hotel in Beirut. Anti-Syrian Lebanese figures including Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh are among six men on what a Lebanese newspaper has called a new "hit-list". Al-Balad newspaper, quoting government and parliamentary sources, named 15 December 2005 the other alleged targets "on the hit-list of people to be killed" as deputies Wael Abu Faoor, Samir Franjieh, Elias Atallah and Farid Makari. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH BARRAK / AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH BARRAK

Former MP and March 14 politician Samir Franjieh passed away on Tuesday at the age of 71 after a battle with an incurable disease, state-run National News Agency reported.

He was receiving treatment at the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital in Beirut.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri hailed Franjieh as “a prominent symbol of the glorious March 14 Uprising, which played the key role in ending the Syrian tutelage in Lebanon.”

“Samir Franjieh remained faithful and loyal to the principles and pillars of the Cedar Revolution, despite all the challenges and risks, and did not change his approach and his adherence to sovereignty, independence and coexistence until the last moment of his life,” Hariri said.

He added: “We underscore that we will continue to follow the path that he followed and abide by the national principles for which he struggled during his long journey.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat meanwhile mourned Franjieh on Twitter, describing him as “the greatest comrade and friend,” “the knight of peace, love and dialogue” and “the cornerstone of the Cedar Revolution.”

Franjieh is a nephew of late Lebanese president Suleiman Franjieh and the son of late minister and MP Hamid Franjieh, one of Lebanon’s independence heroes.

He was a leading journalist and leftist intellectual.

During the term of president Emile Lahoud, he was one of the opposition leaders who confronted Syria’s influence over Lebanon and one of the founders of the opposition Qornet Shehwan Gathering.

He later became a prominent member of the March 14 alliance after the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri and a member of its general secretariat.

Franjieh was the author of “Beirut manifesto” that was published in Le Monde on 22 June 2004.The manifesto, which was signed by Lebanese intellectuals and eminent public figures, challenged the dominance of Syria in Lebanon.

In the 2005 general elections, Franjieh became a member of the Lebanese parliament, representing Zgharta.