Lebanese Presidential Elections


Much needed Constitutional Reform

Amendments to Articles 49, 73, 74, and 75 of the Lebanese Constitution 1926 and the Taef Accord 1989


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This article is a result of years of Presidential vacuum in the history of the Republic, caused by foreign agendas and internal political deadlock. The purpose of these amendments is to effect the death of Presidential vacuum, by altering the electoral method to one inspired by the Electoral College of the United States of America. This amendment enshrines and protects the rights and representations of the various sects, in addition to empowering voters from more rural areas in favor of the dense urban conglomerations of Beirut and Tripoli. This is due to the fact that the new system is reliant upon the Parliamentary Electoral Law for the distribution of points (which substitute the actual, natural Electoral College found in the United States). The purely parliamentarian system of Lebanon has caused a problem of apparent democracy, i.e. it is a democracy where the citizen does not feel that his vote can actually change anything. The Republic and People of Lebanon need to solve this issue or otherwise deal with the consequences of a totally paralyzed and failed puppet state. The People must elect their own President


Table of Contents

I. Proposed Constitutional Law

Preamble

Article 49

Article 73

Article 74

Article 75

II. Reasons Obligating the Implementation of Reform

A. Sede Vacante

B. Archaic Confessional System in a Dynamic World

III. Implementation

A. Benefits Resulting from Implementation

B. Example Given (2017 Electoral Law)

C. The Taef Accords – Presidential Powers

IV. Bibliography


The Republic of Lebanon’s first president, and co-author of the National Pact. Bchara El Khoury

I. Proposed Constitutional Law

Preamble

Whereas the free democratic states of this world, enjoying total liberty in self-determination and the arresting of their fates by universal suffrage, do elect the President of the Republic,

Confirming the international prestige enjoyed by the Republic of Lebanon, and the influence that the Lebanese have exerted throughout history on laws, freedoms, and thoughts, and the role of Lebanon as the lighthouse of the Arab world,

Reaffirming the role of the President of the Republic as the President of all Lebanese, as the safeguard to national peace and unity, as the personage of Sovereignty and the guarantor of Liberty,

Consecrating the role of the People, the Lebanese People, in maintaining the state, for they are the source of all Power and Authority in this free and democratic Republic,

 Marveling at the handicap to democracy and national stability permeating the current method of election of the President, being chosen by Parliament and not by the People,

Recalling the numerous Presidential vacancies brought into being by ineffectual Parliament, which then hast caused the obstructions of justice, the absence of government, the retardation of political life, and the crippling of State,

Asserting the total rejection of the People to sede vacante, their numerous cries for freedom and the rejection of the deadlocked political caste as enshrined in the October 17 Revolution,

Rejecting foreign influence of State players, and their historic role in affecting the choice of Parliament, whether by use of proxies or otherwise,

Demanding the return of power to the People, that they may henceforth regularly decide their own destinies directly through free and democratic means,

Respecting the unique demographic of Lebanon, more than a Nation, a message of peace and coexistence between its Citizens, who have built a peace loving State for all Lebanese, free of internal strife and division,

We the People, in sound Conscience, do hereby present an Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Lebanon.

Lebanon’s second president, Camille Nemr Chamoun. Under his tenure Lebanon rose to unprecedented economic and diplomatic heights.

Article 49

Original Text

The President of the Republic is the head of the state and the symbol of the nation’s unity. He shall safeguard the constitution and Lebanon’s independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The President shall preside over the Supreme Defense Council and be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces which fall under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

The President of the Republic shall be elected by secret ballot and by a two thirds majority of the Chamber of Deputies. After a first ballot, an absolute majority shall be sufficient. The President’s term is six years. He may not be re-elected until six years after the expiration of his last mandate. No one may be elected to the Presidency of the Republic unless he fulfills the conditions of eligibility for the Chamber of Deputies.

It is also not possible to elect judges, Grade One civil servants, or their equivalents in all public institutions to the Presidency during their term or office or within two years following the date of their resignation and their effective cessation of service, or following retirement. 

Amendment

The President of the Republic is the head of the state and the symbol of the nation’s unity. He shall safeguard the constitution and Lebanon’s independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The President shall preside over the Supreme Defense Council and be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces which fall under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and by a simple majority. The President’s term is six years. He may not be re-elected until six years after the expiration of his last mandate. No one may be elected to the Presidency of the Republic unless he fulfills the conditions of eligibility for the Chamber of Deputies.

It is also not possible to elect judges, Grade One civil servants, or their equivalents in all public institutions to the Presidency during their term or office or within two years following the date of their resignation and their effective cessation of service, or following retirement.

Article 73

Original Text

One month at least and two months at most before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic, the Chamber shall be convened by its President to elect the new President of the Republic. However, should it not be convened for this purpose, the Chamber shall meet automatically on the tenth day preceding the expiration of the President’s term of office. 

The third president of Lebanon, General Fouad Chehab. Widely recognized as an astute statesman.

Amendment

One month at least and two months at most before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic, a public vote shall be held to elect the new President of the Republic as organized by the Ministry of Interior. However, should there for whatever purpose have been no elections, the vote shall be held automatically on the tenth day preceding the expiration of the President’s term of office.  Eligible citizens wishing to run for office should register their candidacy with the Ministry of Interior at most a year and at least three months before the end of the term of the incumbent President of the Republic.

Article 74

Original Text

Should the Presidency become vacant through the death or resignation of the President or for any other cause, the Chamber shall meet immediately and by virtue of the law to elect a successor. If either Chamber happens to be dissolved at the time the vacancy occurs, the electoral bodies shall be convened without delay and, as soon as the elections have taken place, the Chamber meets by virtue of the law.

Amendment

Should the Presidency become vacant through the death or resignation of the President or for any other cause, the election shall be on either the third or fourth Sunday after the fact. Interested citizens have fourteen days, starting from the day of vacancy, to register their candidacy with the Ministry of Interior.

Article 75

Original Text

The Chamber meeting to elect the President of the Republic shall be considered an electoral body and not a legislative assembly. It must proceed immediately, without discussion of any other act, to elect the Head of the State. 

Amendment

The Popular Vote to elect the President of the Republic shall be held in each electoral district according to the law concerning parliamentary elections. The candidate with the most votes in the electoral district shall win points equal to the number of parliamentary seats that electoral district has. In the case of implementation of one statewide electoral district in parliamentary elections then so shall it be for the presidential election. The candidate who secures greater than half the total points across all electoral districts is elected President. If in the first round no candidate has managed to secure a simple majority of points, then all candidates with less than ten percent of the points are eliminated, and elections are then held again in a second round seven days after the first round. For all subsequent rounds where a candidate fails to win, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated until only two candidates are left. Successive rounds of election must be held seven days apart. When two or more candidates have the same number of points primacy is given to the elder candidate.

At once, the most beloved and most hated president in the history of Lebanon. Bachir Gemayel, who was assassinated 21 days after being elected, and before taking office. To this day Bachir is a polarizing, monumental figure.

II. Reasons Obligating the Implementation of Reform

A. Sede Vacante1

It is no secret the Lebanese Parliamentary politics are a sticky affair. Political deadlock is common, and I say this with great shame, but this deadlock is more often than not caused by extra national state influences. Our disunity and allegiance to foreign ideals has caused us to repeatedly give our nation over to foreign players as a bargaining chip. Indeed there are to this day political parties in Parliament that publicly profess their allegiance to foreign middle powers, and prioritize their interests over the interests of the State. In French it is said,

“Qui se donne, ordonne,”

French Proverb

And some of these political parties receive foreign funding. Yet, they are in Parliament by virtue of free and democratic elections. They are the representatives of the People. How can it then be that these members of Parliament boycott parliamentary sessions extensively, denying the formation of a quorum and in essence causing more than two years of Presidential vacancy in the years 2014-2016? Is it not in the best interest of the People to have a President as laid out by the Constitution? In a day and age where the fate of the world may depend on last-minute decisions, where massive profits are to be made by seizing the initiative before anyone else, where in neighboring Syria there is the constant threat of the spillover of war, where we have the third highest national debt in the world relative to gross domestic output; in circumstances such as these can we afford a vacancy of two years? Two years means one third of a Presidential term, one trimester gone to waste. Just as a body cannot function without a head, so too the State cannot function without the Head of State.

Historic Instances of Sede Vacante

The most famous, most recent, and indeed most lengthy case of a vacant Presidency were the twenty nine months following President Michel Suleiman’s abdication in May 2014 and President Michel Aoun’s election as the thirteenth President in October 2016. This period coincided with war in neighboring Syria, which spilled over into Lebanese territory most notably in the Battle of Arsal (August 2014), and which the country had to face without strong leadership.  During this vacancy the Council of Ministers presided over by Tammam Salam assumed the responsibilities of the Presidency, for a period of 890 days.

Preceding that, and prior to President Michel Suleiman’s election in May 2008 as the twelfth President, the chair was vacant for 189 days and the Council of Ministers presided over by Fouad Siniora assumed the responsibilities of the presidency. This vacancy was caused by political deadlock and was only resolved on 21 May, 2008 in what became known as the Doha Agreement.2 Here international mediation was required to solve a constitutional crisis in internal affairs caused by political deadlock amongst an incompetent political caste.

There are even more instances of crises caused by the ineffectuality of Parliament, such as during the Civil War when in 1988 at the end of his tenure President Amine Gemayel appointed Michel Aoun to be Prime Minister and interim President, and at the same time Prime Minister Selim Hoss refused to stand down. This caused there to be two rival governments for almost two years. 

Effects of a Vacant Presidency

According to the National Pact, and subsequent constitutional custom, isn’t the President a Maronite, and the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim?3 Is it not the President who names the new Prime Minister?4

President General Michel Aoun, the current incumbent.

Presidential vacancy then is synonymous to a paralyzed government, because the government in this case only has limited executive powers and cannot execute decisive action. If we are to speak plainly, one would then say that a Maronite vacancy would also mean a Sunni vacancy. This would be a paralyzed State and a perpetually paralyzed State is not worth the ink on which is written its Constitution.

Furthermore, the President is the head of the Higher Defense Council and is the Commander in-Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces. If a major spillover from neighboring Syria were to occur, or if the IDF decided to wage illicit war on our southern borders, what can our state do without a President? Without a functioning government?

 Not even Parliament is functioning in the event of a vacant Presidency. The constitution clearly states5 that in the event of a vacancy the Parliament has no right to legislate any laws, not even to ratify the budget draft. Imagine then the state of total paralysis caused by the historic two year vacancy preceding President Michel Aoun’s election in 2016. State finances are in disarray, international investments are at an all-time low, and trust in the Lebanese State amongst the general public has greatly eroded. The October Revolution of 2019, marked by great economic hardships, is caused among other things by the vacancy leading up to and including the 2016 Presidential elections.

Oftentimes when attempting to illustrate the relation between the President and the State, it is described as being the ‘head of the pyramid’, yet I find more fitting the term ‘capstone of the arch’. A pyramid is still standing without its head, but an arch without a capstone falls and is reduced to rubble.

B. Archaic Confessional System in a Dynamic World

The Lebanese confessional system is quite unique for many reasons. Many states globally enjoy a higher degree of multiculturalism and plurality of doctrine, but few are the states, like Lebanon, where there is no clear majority. The Lebanese sects are all a minority together, as any census or statistical research taken in the past century or so clearly point to an equity of sorts.6Between the three major sects; the Maronites, the Shi’as, and the Sunnis, indicate a variance of no more than 6% between them for a population of 4 million,7 which translates into a measly 240,000. For reference, that translates to about the number of eligible electors in Beirut II.8 Indeed, New York City speaks more than 800 languages9and is home to more than 8 million, but there is a clear white majority as they constitute more than double the size of the next largest ethnic group, the African-Americans.10

The Lebanese system recognizes 18 sects, and since this is a country of religious minorities, this in turn means that it is also a country of political minorities. That is because effectively the nation’s myriad political parties are divided along sectarian lines, and tend to draw most of their support from their religious affiliations. Since this is a country of minorities, that means that political parties are forced into forming alliances, meaning in a sense religious sects are then in alliance. All of this is in a constitutionally informal system, as Article 95 of the Constitution clearly states that:

“The Chamber of Deputies that is elected on the basis of equality between Muslims and Christians shall take the appropriate measures to bring about the abolition of political confessionalism according to a transitional plan. A National Committee shall be formed, headed by the President of the Republic, it include, in addition to the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Prime Minister, leading political, intellectual, and social figures.  The tasks of this Committee shall be to study and propose the means to ensure the abolition of confessionalism, propose them to the Chamber of Deputies and to the Ministers council of ministers, and to follow up the execution of the transitional plan.”

About thirty years later, there is still no transitional plan, and confessionalism is given a free hand, and has indeed evolved in the lens of political life to mean more and more things, and is thriving in these tumultuous times.

One can see then that this proposed law is in keeping with the spirit of Article 95, as it is not confessional representatives in Parliament which are electing the President, but rather the People themselves whom are the foundation of this Republic. They do so with no regard to their religious affiliation, but only with respect to their electoral district as described in the parliamentary electoral law in effect at the time of voting. This law may be sectarian,11 and yes that may not be a perfect or indeed even a final solution, yet it is undeniably a step in the right direction. Have the people vote, give them more power and responsibility, and let their fate be self-determined. A strong President is needed to fulfill Article 95, a strong President is needed to lift up the country from where it has been descending, and a strong President is hard to imagine when his election is by the grace of weak and ineffectual political parties. In fact, it is quite hard to imagine any president at all coming from this caste. If the current political trends continue, if certain parties are to remain loyal to regional middle powers rather than the Lebanese Republic, and choose to pursue foreign interests in the face of the ruinous downfall of the Republic, then let it be known that it is improbable the People will see a successor to President Aoun anytime soon.

Politics

III. Implementation

This proposed constitutional reform, just like any reform, is designed to produce certain benefits. These benefits may not be apparent at first but upon closer inspection they are indeed present. To reap these benefits requires careful implementation, which is not haphazard but results directly from understanding the proposed amendments (spirit and letter) through and through.

A. Benefits Resulting from Implementation

Negation of Foreign Influence

Let’s just say that it is easier to buy off a figurehead at opportune moments, than it is to buy an entire people. You can never trust an elected official to stay loyal at all times – that is axiomatic and it is the reason why we have systems of detecting and sanctioning these turncloaks. Of course, some parties act as proxies to foreign middle powers. Quite declaratively, in fact. It is these same parties that refuse to attend parliamentary sessions when it is time to elect a President. It is these same parties that when it is time to build a strong Lebanon, a Lebanon of bridges and of pluralism, build diplomatic walls to the effect of the isolation and sanctioning of the State. They do not want a strong Lebanon, because that is not in the interest of the regional tyrannies of the Middle East.

The People are sanctified. They cannot be bought, they cannot be turned. At the moment they are simply unwilling. Let the People decide.

Restoring Faith

In 2018 the Economist’s Intelligence Unit classified Lebanon as a ‘Hybrid Regime’.12 What a blow to a nation that prides itself on its democratic values and pluralism in a tyrannical Middle East. Beirut the ‘Paris of the Middle East’,13 and Lebanon the Switzerland of the Middle East. These monikers were a direct result of democratic institutions in a functioning state headed by a strong president. Does Parliament deny us a President? The People refuse a single day of undemocratic state paralysis. We elected you Parliamentarians to do your job – the legislative and the elective. While there is doubt about the former, the latter you have failed at without question. The People have lost faith in you. Voter turnout at the 2018 elections was as low as 47%. It got so bad, British newspapers such as the Guardian14 got wind of it.

“The election had been hailed as potentially a breakthrough moment for a country central to power struggles between Iran and Saudi Arabia and rattled by decades of domestic turbulence. However, by the close of polls on Sunday, less than half of registered voters (47%) had cast ballots, 5% less than the last poll in 2009 – and far below projections.

Many who did not vote said they believed the election had been predetermined by the very exiles promising change and that a new, complex electoral law intended to inject fresh voices had instead cemented the old guard.

“If I thought standing in a two-hour line to vote would change anything, I would have,” said Mohammed Obeida, a Beirut resident. “I would have taken my grandad too. He stayed home because he’s seen it all before.””

The People have lost faith in the State and its institutions. The beliefs expressed by Mr. Obeida are those felt by over two million Lebanese People. How did I get this number? Look at the October Revolution, at the astounding 53% of people who did not vote, and then finally once you’ve contemplated the situation please consider that about 10% of the people who did vote ended up casting blank ballots.

This lack of faith has penetrated the highest echelons of government. On the second of March 2020 PM Hassan Diab gave a televised speech where he said that “[the] State can no longer protect its people”.15 How can you expect the People to have faith in a State that barely holds any elections, and is furthermore run by an entrenched political caste that always points the finger at an invisible boogeyman called ‘Corruption’? Has any politician ever gone out and accused another politician of corruption? They feed us the rhetoric that the State is a failure (as so wonderfully demonstrated by Mr. PM Diab) and then forego elections. The PM also stated that the cabinet is “shackled with sectarian restrictions and chains of corruption”, according to the Daily Star. I’m sorry, wasn’t it you who formed the current cabinet? I do not accuse anyone of corruption, but he who is corrupt stands ipso facto condemned before the light of truth.

The solution is easy. At the moment the eligible Lebanese citizen is privy to two elections – parliamentary and municipal. These elections occur at four and six year intervals respectively. Without needing to recourse to the staggering of elections or the shortening of terms, a very simple solution would be to add a completely new category of elections. This third election is obviously the Presidential election. Since the President is the head of the State, the capstone of the arch, without whom there is no functioning state in all its branches, then it becomes blatantly obvious – let the people elect their own president and then see whether or not they believe in a democracy. There needs be sent positive shockwaves throughout the Lebanese People, a mass restoration of faith in the State. To have the People elect their own president would be the most effective way of doing so – it would initiate a statewide renaissance.

Safeguarding Demographic Balance

It is no secret that the issue of the demographic balance between the sects is sacrosanct to the point of taboo. This issue is the driving motivation behind much legislation (or the lack thereof). The President is a Maronite Christian, and is elected in Parliament where the Christians and Muslims share equal representation. It is claimed (I personally do not hold this claim to be true, yet it is widely believed to be the case and as such is for intents and purposes true) that there are at the moment more Muslims than Christians, who only make up around 33% of the population.16 That is one of the main reasons as to why there is not yet a popular vote to elect the President. The Christian half of parliament simply will not allow it to pass because they are afraid that their dwindling population will place the appointment of a Christian President in the hands of a Muslim population.

The proposed amendments safeguard this confessional balance; it provides much higher representation to the Christians and to those living in rural areas. This is because of the ‘winner takes all’ system, where the winner in a certain electoral district takes all the points allocated to that district. This means that since the number of points is equal to the number of MPs, and since the distribution of points mirrors the distribution of MPs across electoral districts – that effectively the gross representational ratio of Muslims to Christians is 1:1. In fact this law better helps Christians, since if you consider that in the original law the candidate needed two-thirds of the vote in order to pass; this is ruled out of the amendment in favor of a simple majority. Another benefit to the Christians brought about by the implementation of this law is the fact that an unpopular President is arguably much better than no President. The President of the Republic has customarily been identified as the embodiment of Christian political power not just in Lebanon, but in the entire Middle East. The Christians in Lebanon have also been the most prominent proponents of the State. The State provides order and established long lasting institutions; the Christian political parties have therefore strongly advocated for the State as they feel that a Lebanese State protects them as a Middle Eastern minority from persecution and injustice.

For the above reasons it becomes clear that a popularly elected President is essential to the interests of Lebanese Christians.

B. Example Given

This is an example given in order to illustrate the effects of the proposed constitutional amendments. For the purpose of this exercise, let us assume that it is Monday October 31 2022, the last day of President Aoun’s tenure. The electoral law in effect is the 2017 Lebanese Electoral Law17 (concerning Parliament). What is the constitutional process concerning the election of Lebanon’s fourteenth President?

Election Day

According to the Amended Article 73 of the Lebanese Constitution, elections would take place between one or two months before the expiration of his term, which would place them between Wednesday 31 August 2022, and Friday 30 September 2022. Let us assume a date of Saturday 10 September 2022. That would mean that interested candidates have the space of days between Monday 1 November 2021 and Monday 1 August 2022 to register with the Ministry of Interior. Furthermore, let us assume that only two people are running for election, Citizen Aleph and Citizen Bet.

Beirut I & Beirut II

Citizen Aleph is an upstanding member of society, born and raised in Ashrafieh (Beirut I) where he has an outstanding following. There are 8 electoral seats in Beirut I, meaning there are 8 points.

Citizen Bet is an upstanding member of society, born and raised in Jdeideh (Metn) where he has an outstanding following, but due to political alliances is the preferred candidate among voters registered in Beirut II. Beirut II has 11 electoral seats, meaning there are 11 points.

On Election Day, Citizen Aleph won 60.5% of the votes in Beirut I, while 20% voted for Citizen Bet and the rest either abstained or cast a blank vote. In neighboring Beirut II, Citizen Aleph won 35% of the votes, 12% cast a blank or abstained, and Citizen Bet won 53% of the vote.

The results would then be 8 votes for Citizen Aleph, having gained them from Beirut I, and 11 votes for Citizen Bet, having gained them en masse from Beirut II.

Zahle

Zahle is an electoral district with 7 electoral seats, translating into 7 points.

Zahle’s citizens find neither the Citizens Aleph nor Bet to be satisfactory, and a large proportion of the population boycott the elections. 40% of the votes are blank or abstentions, while Citizen Aleph gains 25% of the votes and Citizen Bet gains the remaining 15%. The result of these elections translate into 7 points for citizen Aleph, since he gained the most votes in that electoral district, despite the fact he could not secure a simple majority. This is in accordance with the amended Article 75, “The candidate with the most votes in the electoral district shall win points equal to the number of parliamentary seats that electoral district has.”

State-Wide Results

Citizen Aleph in this simulation secured the votes of the following districts: Beirut I, Mount Lebanon I, II, and III, North I, II, and III, as well as Bekaa I. He has secured for himself 65 votes.

Citizen Bet in this simulation secured the votes of the following districts: Beirut II, Mount Lebanon IV, South I, II, and III, Bekaa II and III. He has secured for himself 63 votes.

Knowing that there are 128 points, Citizen Aleph is the new President of the Republic of Lebanon, having secured a simple majority of 65 points.

C. The Taef Accords – Presidential Powers

“Now that the President is elected through popular vote, we must amend the Taef Accords and grant the office greater authority and power,”

No.

I will not lie, neither feign nor deceive. I believe that the Republic would be better off without the Taef Accords. All that Taef did was guaranteeing that no one have power, rather than power be invested in one person. It does not dictate power sharing, rather it dictates power be dissipated.

 Yet I do recognize that to amend the Taef at the present moment would be idealistic at best and unrealistic at worst. It is best to implement the above amendment to the election of the President without amending the powers of the office. Implementing this change is possible and is indeed beneficial to the State without needing to restore the President’s pre-Taef powers.


Antoine Kanaan
Antoine Kanaan

Lebanese University – DSP2

Editor in Chief


IV. Bibliography

Amaya, Nigel. “How Many Languages Are Spoken in NYC?” 2018. 14 January 2020. <worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-languages-are-spoken-in-nyc.html>.

“Doha Agreement ‘On the Results of the Lebanese National Dialogue Conference’.” Doha: Now Lebanon, 21 05 2008.

el-Khazen, Farid. PAPERS ON LEBANON: The Comnlunal Pact of National Identities: The Making and Politics of the 1943 National Pact. Oxford: Center for Lebanese Studies, 1991. Document.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Lebanon’s 2017 Parliamentary Election Law. Briefing Paper. Arlington, VA, 2018. Document. 7 January 2020. <https://www.ifes.org/sites/default/files/lebanons_2017_parliamentary_election_law_final.pdf>.

Maktabi, Rania. The Lebanese Census of 1932 Revisited. Who Are the Lebanese? Vol. 26. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 1999. Document. 14 January 2020. <www.jstor.org/stable/195924>.

The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Democracy Index 2018: Me too? Political participation, protest and democracy.” 2018. 14 January 2020. <http://www.eiu.com/Handlers/WhitepaperHandler.ashx?fi=Democracy_Index_2018.pdf&mode=wp&campaignid=Democracy2018>.

U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State. 17 November 2010. 14 January 2020. <https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010/148830.htm>.

World Population Review. “New York City Population.” 2019. 14 January 2020. <http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/new-york-city/>.

  1. Sede Vacante is Latin and translates into “Empty Chair” or “Vacant Chair”.
  2. (Doha Agreement ‘On the Results of the Lebanese National Dialogue Conference’)
  3. (el-Khazen)p.65:” One way to situate the debate in 1975-76 is to analyse Muslim reactions to the Constitutional Document (al- Wathiqa al-Dusturiya) of February 14, 1976. Announced by President Frangiyeh, the Constitutional Document was an attempt to end the war through a programme of reforms of the political system. The Constitutional Document, mediated and supported by Damascus, proclaimed Lebanon’s ‘Arab identity’, made representation in Parliament equal between Christians and Muslims, gave Parliament the power to elect the Prime Minister, abolished ‘political confessionalism’ except in the upper echelons of state bureaucracy, and confirmed the National Pact’s custom of the three presidencies (Maronite President, Sunni Prime Minister, and Shia Speaker).”.
  4. Article 53 of the Lebanese Constitution, clause two: The President of the Republic appoints the Head of Government in charge of consulting with the President of the Chamber of Deputies with respect to representative mandatory consultations, the results of which are officially reported to him.
  5. Article 75 of the Lebanese Constitution.
  6. Lebanon Census 1932. (Maktabi)
  7. (U.S. Department of State)
  8. (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)
  9. (Amaya)
  10. (World Population Review)
  11. Beirut I, II, and III were merged into two districts roughly corresponding to Christian East Beirut (Beirut I) and Muslim West Beirut (Beirut II). (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)
  12. (The Economist Intelligence Unit 33)
  13. (Zeveloff)
  14. (Chulov)
  15. (State can no longer protect its people: Diab)
  16. (Central Intelligence Agency)
  17. (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)