Taif Agreement

At the end of September 1989 the Lebanese National Assembly met in Taif, Saudi Arabia, to discuss a charter of national reconciliation. The session was an initiative of the Arab League and was attended by 62 MPs (31 Christian and 31 Muslim). On 22 October, the charter of national reconciliation, better known as the Taif Agreement, was endorsed by 58 of the 62 deputies attending the session.

The charter provides for the disbanding of the militias within six months and the revision of the Constitution of 1943 in order to adapt the political system to the demographic weight of the different communities. The main constitutional reform are:

  • transfer of power from the President (Maronite Christian) to the Prime Minister (Sunni Muslim) and the Chairman of the National Assembly (Shia Muslim);
  • executive power is to be exercised by the Council of Ministers and the portfolios divided equally among Christians and Muslims;
  • an increase in the number of seats in the National Assembly, from 99 to 128, to be divided equally among Christian and Muslim deputies.

As in the past, the key posts will be divided amongst the main religious groups of the country:

  • the President of the Republic will be a Maronite Christian,
  • the Prime Minister will be a Sunni Muslim,
  • the Chairman of the National Assembly will be a Shia Muslim.
The Taif Agreement was incorporated in the Lebanese Constitution in August 1990.

The Taif Agreement was incorporated in the Lebanese Constitution in August 1990.