Salam number five… or is it seven?

Lebanon’s new prime minister Tammam Salam may seem like a fresh face–his head is bald and shiny like mine–but he’s actually been in this game for a while.

You see, his father Saeb Salam (above photo) was prime minister at least four times according to this prime ministers of Lebanon timeline by wikipedia.

But it seems most journalists were looking at another wikipedia article–this wiki biography of Saeb Salam— when writing their pieces.

In contrast to the wiki timeline, the wiki biography claims Salam was prime minister six times not four.

But curiously the wiki biography article contradicts itself, in that it only notes four prime minister terms: 1952, 1953, 1960, 1970.

So where are the other two?

Nonetheless, everyone from Reuters to The New York Times to Al Jazeera is reporting the six-time prime minister figure.

Which Wiki is right?

And what does it matter if this is Salam administration number five, six or seven?

How long will this man’s premiership last? More specifically, how long will it be before we have to endure a million news articles saying Lebanon is destined for crisis again?

Out of Saeb Salam’s four recorded terms on Wikipedia, the average time he spent in office was about one year at a time.

Ya Salam!


UPDATE: April 10

So many of my sources have confirmed that it was in fact six terms served by Saeb Salam, which makes this Salam number seven. See references in Arabic here and here. Thank you Karim and Jim, who commented below.

But I’m still puzzled as to why both Wiki articles have noted 1970 as his fourth and final term. Maybe someone should correct that.

Of course, when you come from a prominent family, it often seems no one is counting how many terms your father got. I’m glad some people are.