Lebanon Profile 

Government

 

Lebanon is a democratic republic with a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly (Parliament), which is constituted by 128 members, elected by universal adult suffrage for a normal term of 4 years. The President of the National Assembly (Speaker) is elected by the members of Parliament for the duration of the term of Parliament. (click for Lebanese Parliament website).

The Constitution was approved on 23 May 1926, since amended a number of times. The National Covenant (unwritten agreement) set a tradition, confirmed later by the Taef Accords in 1989 in writing, whereby the President is a Maronite Christian, the Speaker of the legislature is a Shi'a Muslim and the Prime Minister is a Sunni Muslim.

The Chief of State is President General Emile LAHOUD (since 24 November 1998); the Speaker is Mr. Nabih BERRI (re-elected for the third time since 17 October 2000); the Head of Government is Mohammad Najib MIKATI (since 26 October 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Elias MURR.

The President of the Republic is elected by the Legislature for a mandate of 6 years. The Constitution does not allow for a re-election or extension. Only once has the Constitution been amended to allow for a re-election of the last President H.E. Mr. Elias Hraoui for another three years. The President represents the unity of the Nation and as such remains an arbiter among the different political groups. His duties are to uphold the respect and implementation of the Constitution and to safeguard the independence and integrity of the country. The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, which come under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

The Prime Minister is chosen by the President in consultation with the members of the National Assembly. The ministers are chosen by the Prime Minister in consultation with the members of the National Assembly.

The Executive powers are, since the Taef Accords in 1989, in the hands of the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet or Government) headed by a Prime Minister (President of the Council of Ministers). The ministers do not have to be necessarily Members of Parliament but are sanctioned by them. A collegial authority, it is the highest decision-making body. It may dissolve Parliament at the President’s request. Decisions are taken by consensus or a majority vote of those attending. On issues deemed fundamental (amending the Constitution, approving the budget and development plans …) a two-third majority of the total number of the ministers is required. Governments change as a result of resignation or losing a vote of confidence in Parliament or in the aftermath of a general election.

The amendments to the Constitution saw the establishment for the first time in 1990 of the Constitutional Council (ten members), which has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the constitutionality of the laws and to settle litigations that may arise from presidential and parliamentary elections. Another novelty is the provision for a second House of Parliament: a Senate, to be implemented at a stage to be agreed upon.

The Judiciary (comprising both secular and religious courts) is independent. It is based on the French Judiciary system, the Napoleonic Code. The Lebanese court system has three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation.  The religious courts have jurisdiction on civil status matters within their own communities, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Numerous Political Parties exist.

Independence: 22 November 1943.

Capital: Beirut


Administrative divisions:

* 6 Provinces / Governorates (Mouhafazat) headed each by a Governor (Mouhafez):

- Beirut, the Capital City, 

- Mount Lebanon (Regional Capital: Baabda),

- North Lebanon (Regional Capital: Tripoli),

- South Lebanon (Regional Capital: Saida),

- Beka’a (Regional Capital: Zahle),

- Nabatieh (Regional Capital: Nabatieh).

* Each province is subdivided into ‘Cazas’, administered by an Administrator (Qaem Maqam).

 

Local Government: Mayors “Mukhtar” and Municipal Council Members are elected by universal adult suffrage. 


 

Related Links

The President of the Republic 

Lebanese Parliament 

Prime Minister Mohammad Najib MIKATI

Constitutional Council

Court of Audit 

Ministry of Agriculture

Ministry of Displaced

Ministry of Economy and Trade

Ministry of Emigrants

Ministry of Environment

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Industry

Ministry of Interior

Ministry of National Education Youth and Sports

Ministry of Post and Telecommunications

Ministry of Public Health

Ministry of Public Works

Ministry of Tourism

Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR)

The National Lebanese Army
The General Security

Internal Security Forces

Banque du Liban (the Central Bank of Lebanon)

Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL)

Central Inspection Board 

Civil Service Board 

Central Administration for Statistics  

National Council for Scientific Research 

Green Plan

Embassy of Lebanon, Australia

Embassy of Lebanon, Canada
Embassy of Lebanon, Rome
Embassy of Lebanon, South Korea

Embassy of Lebanon, Washington D.C.

Consulate of Lebanon, Dubai

Lebanese National News Agency 

Beirut International Airport  

Ministry of Justice

National Employment Office

Southern Lebanon Council

 

Municipalities

Ainab

Aley

Baabdath

Broummana

Chhime

Choueifat

Deir el Qamar

Jounieh

Saida

Zouk Mikael

 

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