Skip to main content

Lebanese Electoral Law Redresses Christian Rights

The proposed electoral law should allow Christian parties to have a greater say in Lebanese politics, writes Scarlett Haddad.
Lebanese Christian leader Michel Aoun arrives at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, near Beirut, to attend a new session of the national dialogue, June 11, 2012. Lebanese politicians held a National Dialogue meeting aimed at resolving deep rifts which have been exacerbated by the unrest in neighbouring Syria and have spilled over into unrest inside Lebanon. The last such meeting was held 18 months ago, before the Syrian uprising erupted.  REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR33FHE

Beyond the political statements and strictly electoral interests, the current negotiations over a new electoral law in Lebanon are a fundamental change in Lebanon’s internal balance of power. The willingness of Christian parties to reclaim their parliamentary seats under the leadership of the Maronite Patriarchate goes beyond the desire of one political camp to score a victory against the other. For the first time since the Taif Accord, it allows the Christians to regain some tangible rights, which they had lost.

In fact, if we go back in time a little, we remember how the Taif Accord took away much of the Christians’ rights, then called “privileges,” by stripping away presidential powers and giving them, in principle, to the council of ministers. According to the Taif Accord, the council of ministers was supposed to include all Lebanese sectarian components and be split evenly between Muslims and Christians.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.