Country Governance

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Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Map: United Nations Maps: Lebanon
Country Name: Republic of Lebanon (Al-Jumhuriyah al-Lubnaniyah)
Name of Capital City: Beirut (Bairut)
Date of Independence: Lebanon gained independence from the League of Nations mandate under French Administration on November 22, 1943.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 6 regional governments (mohafazaat): Beirut, North Lebanon (Ech-Chimal), Mount Lebanon (Jabal Loubnan), South Lebanon (Ej-Jnoub), Bekaa (El-Bekaa), and Al-Nabatiyah.
25 districts (qadaa): Baalbek, Hermel, Zahle, Western Bekaa, Rashaya, Byblos, Kesrwan, Metn, Baabda, Aley, Chouf, Sidon, Jezzine, Tyr, Hasbaya, Marjeyoun, Nabatieh, Bint Jbeil, Akkar, Miniyeh-Denniyeh, Bsharreh, Tripoli, Batroun, Koura and Zgharta.
Country Area (sq km): 10452
Population (million): 4.2 (2007)
Population, annual growth rate (%) 1975-2005: 1.3
Population, estimated growth rate (%) 2005-2015: 1.0

Political System

Type of State: Republic/unitary
Date of Constitution: The Constitution was adopted on May 23, 1926.
It was amended in 1949.
The National Reconciliation Agreement reached in Taif, Saudi Arabia in 1989, altered representation in the parliament by creating a 50-50 balance between Christian and Muslim members. The Taif accord also increased the number of seats in parliament and transferred some powers from the head of state to the prime minister and the cabinet.

Head of State

Type: The head of state is the President.
Based on the unwritten National Pact of 1943, the President is a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the parliament a Shi'a Muslim.
Name of Current: The Lebanese parliament elected on May 25, 2008 the commander of the Lebanese army General Michel Sulaiman as Lebanon's new president for a 6-year term.

Executive Branch

About: The Prime Minister, also called the President of the Council of Ministers, is the head of government.
Name of Current: The prime minister is Mr. Saadeddine Hariri, son of the late Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. He was asked to form a government on August 8, 2009.

Legislative Branch

Type: Unicameral parliament
- House of Representatives [Arabic][French]


Suffrage: Suffrage is universal and the minimum voting age is 21. On 19 March 2009, Parliament voted unanimously to adopt a Constitutional Law to reduce the voting age from 21 years to 18 years. However, the Constitutional Amendment cannot come into force unless the President and Prime Minister co-sign a Promulgation of the Amendment, which has not happened yet.
- See Also: Lebanon - Election Calendar and Results

Human Development Indicators

Human development index (HDI): 0.803 (2007)
HDI rank (worldwide): 83 (2007)
Adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older): 89.6 (2007)
Female secondary gross enrollment (%): 85.6 (2007)
Gross enrollment, tertiary level education (%): 51.6 (2007)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 13.545 (2010)
Poverty index (HP1-1) value (%): 7.6 (2007)
GDP per capita (PPP US$): 13474.625 (2010)
GDP per capita (PPP US$) rank minus HDI rank: -7 (2007)
* See more human development indicators on Arab Statistics (external link)

Judiciary Branch

Legal system and codification: Combination of Civil Law, Islamic, and Ottoman legal principles, and the laws of the Lebanese legislature.
Administration: The Supreme Judicial Council, headed by the First President, or Chief Justice, of the Court of Cassation, is in charge of judicial appointments, transfers, training and disciplinary actions. The judiciary is comprised of ordinary and exceptional courts.
Supreme Court: The Court of Cassation serves as the final court of appeal and also has a Public Prosecution Department. In addition to hearing appeals from the lower courts, the Court of Cassation adjudicates in the event of judicial disputes between exceptional and ordinary courts, or between two types of exceptional courts.
Constitutional Court: The ten-member Constitutional Council, created in 1990, judges the constitutionality of governmental acts and also adjudicates in the event of litigation during parliamentary and presidential elections.
Shari'a or Personal Status: The Shari’a Courts are divided into Sunni and Shi’a units, which settle matters of personal status in each community. The Ecclesiastical Courts, composed of various Christian and Jewish divisions, settle matters of personal status for individuals from their respective communities.

Membership in International Organizations

United Nations (UN): October 24, 1945.
International Monetary Fund (IMF): April 14, 1947
World Trade Organization (WTO): Observer
Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC): Not signed
World Bank – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): April 14, 1947
World Bank – International Finance Corporation (IFC): December 28, 1956
World Bank – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): October 19, 1994
World Bank – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): Not a member

Ratification of International Conventions

- Human Rights Conventions
- International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions
- UN Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime
- Environment Treaties