Powersharing Transitional Government: Taif Accord

II. Political Reforms

A. Chamber of Deputies:

The Chamber of Deputies is the legislative authority which exercises full control over government policy and activities.

5. Until the Chamber of Deputies passes an election law free of sectarian restriction, the parliamentary seats shall be divided according to the following bases:

a. Equally between Christians and Muslims.
b. Proportionately between the denominations of each sect.
c. Proportionately between the districts.

6. The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies shall be increased to 108, shared equally between Christians and Muslims. As for the districts created on the basis of this document and the districts whose seats became vacant prior to the proclamation of this document, their seats shall be filled only once on an emergency basis through appointment by the national accord government that is planned to be formed.

Implementation History

1989

No Implementation

Power sharing arrangement in the Chamber of Deputies did not occur in 1989. 

1990

Minimum Implementation

According to the U.S. State Department Human Rights report, political reforms stipulated in the Taif accord were approved through the constitutional amendments by parliament in August (21) 1990 and signed into law by the president in September (21) of that year. According to the revisions, the parliamentary seats will be equally divided between Christians and Muslims in an in an expanded 108-member Parliament.1 The seats were further divided between all of Lebanon's 18 officially recognized religious sects.2 The increases of new nine seats (from 99 to 108) were to be Muslim seats allocated to areas with Muslim demographic concentration. 

1991

Intermediate Implementation

It was only in 1991 that the parliament passed Law 51 in 1991 making allocation of the increased seats. 

1992

Full Implementation

According to Khazan (Khazen), the balance of power both within Lebanon and between Beirut and Damascus had changed significantly by 1992. “Amid speculation and rumours in the press about the number of deputies, the Council of Ministers decided to adopt 134, an addition of 26 to the 108 agreed on in the Ta'if document. The stated reason for raising the number of deputies was to modify the representation of some sects (Druze and Greek Catholic). The tacit reason was to make the number 128 more acceptable to its opponents."3 Finally government adopted Law 154 in 1992 raised the number of parliamentary seats to 128 instead of 108, thus adding 29 new seats to the prewar parliament.4 The additional nine and twenty nine seats were allocated in the following manner:

Maronite from 30 to 34, Greek Orthodox from 11 to 13, Greek Catholic from 6 to 8, Armenian Orthodox from 4 to 5, American catholic from 1 to 0, Protestant from 1 to 0, Minorities from 1 to 0, Sunni from 20 to 27, Shi’a from 19 to 27, Druze from 6 to 8, and Alawite got 2 seats from none.5

  • 3. Farid el. Khazan, “Lebanon's First Postwar Parliamentary Election, 1992: An Imposed Choice," 1992, accessed April 5, 2011, http://almashriq.hiof.no/ddc/projects/pspa/elections92-part1.html.
  • 4. Bassel F. Salloukh, “The Limits of Electoral Engineering in Divided Societies: Elections in Postwar Lebanon,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 39 (2006): 644.
  • 5. Ibid.
1993

Full Implementation

Power-sharing provision of the Taif agreement was implemented in 1992.

1994

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1995

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1996

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1997

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1998

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1999

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.