Political Conditions in Lebanon

Overview by Globlatrade.net:
Type of State
A Republic based on confessionalist, parliamentary democracy. This means that each political position must be filled by a person of a particular denomination.
Executive Power
The President is the head of the state and is elected by the National Assembly for a six-year term. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President in consultation with the National Assembly and acts as the head of the government, to serve a four year term. Though the Prime Minister enjoys the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs, the President also holds a strong and influential position which includes promulgation of laws passed by parliament and ratification of treaties. The Cabinet is chosen by the Prime Minister in consultation with the President and members of the National Assembly. As per the constitution of the country, the President must be a Maronite Catholic Christian and the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim.
Legislative Power
The legislature in Lebanon is unicameral. The parliament called National Assembly consists of 128 seats; with its members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation, with quotas according to religion,  to serve four-year terms. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The executive branch of the government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve the parliament nor can he veto its enactments. The Speaker of the Parliament must be a Shi'a Muslim.
Main Political Parties
Lebanon has numerous political parties, but they play a much less significant role in the country’s politics than they do in most parliamentary democracies. Coalitions usually exist only for contesting elections, and rarely form a cohesive bloc in the National Assembly after the election. Some of the major political parties in Lebanon are:

- Current for the Future – a political movement and a major political party in Lebanon;
- Progressive Socialist Party – ideologically secular and officially non-sectarian, but in practice follows the Druze faith;
- Hope Movement – advocates greater respect and resources for Lebanon's Shi'ite population;
- Party of God (Hezbollah) - Shi'a Islamist militant organization, supported by Iran;
- LF (Lebanese Forces) – a former militia but now a secular political party, supported mainly by Christians;
- The Lebanese Phalanges (Amine Gemayel);
- The National Liberal Party (Dory Chamoun);
- The Democratic Renewal Movement (Nassib Lahoud);
- The Movement of the Democratic Left (Atallah Elias);
- The Syrian Nationalist Social Party (Ali Qanso);
- The Free Patriotic Movement (Michel Aoun).
Current Political Leaders
President: Michel SULAYMAN (as of 25 May 2008)
Prime Minister: Najib MIQATI (since 25 January 2011).
Next Election Dates
National Assembly elections in 2014.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

World Rank:
6 places up compared to 2008

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom

Partly Free
Political Freedom:
Civil Liberties:

Map of freedom 2010
Source: Freedom House

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