(BEIRUT) — Former Lebanese MP Elias Joseph Skaff died in a Beirut hospital on Saturday after a long battle with an illness. He was 66.
The former Zahle minister was first elected in 1992 as head of the Popular Bloc following the death of his father Joseph Skaff. He was later re-elected in 1996, 2000 and 2005.
Skaff was appointed minister of industry in 2003 in the government of Rafik Hariri, and served as the minister of agriculture in 2004 and 2005 in the Omar Karami government.
He also participated in the sessions of National Dialogue as head of the parliamentary Popular Bloc in 2006. In July 2008, Skaff was appointed agriculture minister to the cabinet of then prime minister Fouad Siniora.
He lost his seat in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
Skaff was born in Cyprus on October 11, 1948 and spent his childhood in New Zealand where he received his elementary education. He later graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
According to reports, Skaff was first transported in September to the American University of Beirut Medical Center.
Skaff leaves behind his wife Myriam Gebran Tawk and two children, Joseph and Gebran.