- National Pact
The National Pact (Arabic: الميثاق الوطني) is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon as a multi-confessional state, and has shaped the country to this day. Following negotiations between the Shi'ite, Sunni, and Maronite leaderships, the National Pact was born in the summer of 1943 allowing Lebanon to be independent. Among the following key points of the agreement are for:
Agreements the Maronites not to seek foreign intervention and accept Lebanon as an Arab affiliated country, instead of a Western one the Muslims to abandon their aspirations to unite with Syria the President of the Republic always to be Maronite the Prime Minister of the Republic always to be Sunni the President of the National Assembly always to be Shi'a the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and the Deputy Prime Minister always to be Greek Orthodox the Chief of the General Staff always to be Druze Parliament members to be in a ratio of 6:5 in favour of Christians to Muslims (Binder 1966:276)
A Christian majority in the 1932 census, widely considered to be manipulated in their favour, was the underpinning of a government structure that gave the Christians control of the presidency, command of the armed forces, and a Parliamentary majority. However, following a wider trend, the generally poorer Muslim population has increased faster than the richer Christians. Additionally, the Christians were emigrating in large numbers, further eroding their only marginal population edge, and it soon became clear that Christians wielded a disproportionate amount of power. As years passed without a new census, dissatisfaction with the government structure and sectarian rifts increased, eventually sparking the Lebanese civil war (Randal 1983: 50).
The Taif Agreement of 1989 changed the ratio of Parliament to 50:50 and reduced the power of the Maronite president.
- Ayubi, Nazih N., "Over-stating the Arab State", London: I.B. Tauris, 1995, pp 190–191.
- Binder, Leonard. "Politics in Lebanon". New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1966.
- Randal, Jonathan. "Going All the Way: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers, and the War in Lebanon". New York: The Viking Press, 1983.
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