About: In this episode, we explore Lebanon’s unique electoral system and the most recent parliamentary elections. Lebanon is religiously, culturally and politically diverse. This diversity has complicated the development of a stable political arrangement, and impeded the development of a single national identity. The Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990 brought the complicated sectarian landscape of the country to its violent conclusion. Since that time, Lebanon has attempted to maintain stability through the “confessionalism” system established in the 1989 Taif Agreement. The agreement decreed Lebanon’s 128 parliament seats were to be equally divided among Muslims and Christians. It stipulated that the country’s president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim. The most recent parliamentary election this May was the first in nearly a decade due to numerous delays and political strife. What were the results of the election and what does it mean for Lebanon’s future?
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.