News

Eye on Lebanon

Since independence from France, Lebanon’s government has been shared by Christian, Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims according to a 1943 formula that accorded majority power to Christians. This formula has remained in place, failing to reflect changing demographics: the president would be Christian; the prime minister, Sunni Muslim; and head of parliament, Shi’ite. All religions would have positions in parliament, ranked by the size of religious communities.

Eye on Lebanon
Eye on Lebanon

Related Articles

Issue at a Glance

  • Since independence from France, Lebanon’s government has been shared by Christian, Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims according to a 1943 formula that accorded majority power to Christians.  This formula has remained in place, failing to reflect changing demographics:  the president would be Christian; the prime minister, Sunni Muslim; and the head of parliament, Shi’ite.  All religions would have positions in parliament, ranked by the size of religious communities.
  • Struggles for power within Lebanon also reflect wider struggles between Lebanon and Israel, Syria, and Iran.
  • Syria has vacillated vis-à-vis Lebanon, reflecting its dual fears that Lebanon could emerge either as a Christian state that would side with Israel, or a radical Islamic state.
  • In 2005, former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri was assassinated.  A U.N. Tribunal, as of early 2011, looked ready to accuse the Syrian-backed Hezbollah group.  Hezbollah-backed parties resigned from government, forcing its collapse.
  • President Michel Slieman has named Syrian/Iranian favorite, Najib Mikati, as prime minister.

View the timeline of major historical events

VOA reports

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Feature Story

FILE - Immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally stand in line for tickets at the bus station after they were released from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in McAllen, Texas.

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More