In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
اللبنانيّة About Us
Lebanese Forces

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المقاومة اللبنانية نحو لبنان جديد

The Lebanese Government

Lebanon is a parliamentary republic with a centralized, multireligious, and multiparty government. Because political power and the government bureaucracy are organized according to religious groups, a policy known as confessionalism, Lebanon's government has been described as a confessional democracy. The 1926 constitution, amended by France in 1927, 1929, and 1943, was complemented by the National Pact of 1943, when Christians were a majority. The National Pact, an unwritten covenant, provided for a Maronite Christian president, a Sunnite Muslim prime minister, and a Shiite Muslim speaker of parliament. It also provided that the ratio of seats in parliament would be six Christian seats for every five Muslim seats, and other government posts would be allotted on similar sectarian criteria.

The 1989 National Reconciliation Charter (commonly known as the T'if Agreement) brought an end to most of the fighting and required amendments to the Lebanese constitution, which were passed in 1990. The constitutional amendments preserved certain confessional allotments but gave Muslims increased power, for example, by dividing parliament's seats equally between Christians and Muslims. The new constitution also made the Shiite speaker a member of a troika (executive threesome) with the Maronite president and Sunnite prime minister.

The head of state is the president, a Maronite Christian, elected by parliament for a single six-year term. The head of government is the prime minister, a Sunnite Muslim, who is appointed by the president in consultation with the Shiite Muslim speaker of parliament. The prime minister selects cabinet members in consultation with parliament.

Lebanon's one-house parliament, previously called the Chamber of Deputies, was renamed the National Assembly in 1979. Under the constitutional amendments of 1990, seats are allocated equally between Christians and Muslims, and the speaker of parliament must be a Shiite Muslim. A 1992 amendment expanded membership from 108, which was set in 1990, to 128. Members of parliament are elected to four-year terms.

The judicial system is based on the French Napoleonic Code and uses no juries. The secular (nonreligious) court system has three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation (final appeal). The Ministry of Justice appoints judges according to confessional ratios. In addition to the secular courts, various religious tribunals have exclusive jurisdiction over some personal matters such as marriage and divorce.

Local Government
Patterned on the French system, Lebanon's government is highly centralized. Provincial governments have only administrative power. The six provinces, or governorates (Arabic muhafazat), are Al Biq', Al Janub, Ash Shamal, Bayrt, Jabal Lubnan, and Nabayah.

Because most Lebanese are more loyal to their confessional group or clan than their country, Lebanon's armed forces have often fragmented during crises, as happened during the escalation of fighting in 1984. In 1998 the army consisted of 65,000 troops; the navy, 1,200; and the air force, 1,700. There is also an internal security force under the Ministry of Interior.

Lebnaan Lebnaane - Lebanon is Lebanese - Le Liban est Libanais - لبنان لبناني
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