Lebanon flag Lebanon: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Lebanon

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President – Vacant
Prime Minister: Najib Mikati (since 10 September 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: ongoing
National Assembly: May 2026
Current Political Context
Lebanon is characterised by a high level of political instability, aggravated by a severe economic crisis. The political system aims at preserving the balance between the main religious groups. Parliamentary elections took place in May 2022, whose results produced a hung parliament with fragmented blocs and seats, with non-party affiliates earning a significant number of seats. The Lebanese Forces (Christian) and the protest opposition also gained seats, whereas Hizbullah’s allies lost some. Prime Minister Mikati, whose government went into caretaker mode upon parliamentary elections, was re-appointed as prime minister in 2022 in a caretaker role.
President Aoun’s term ended in 2022, leaving a void as the parliament has so far been unable to agree on his successor (as of January 2024, the Lebanese Parliament failed to elect a new president), resulting in an unprecedented institutional vacuum amid a dramatic economic and political situation.
The stability and security of Lebanon could be negatively influenced by the political and security conditions in the wider Middle East, particularly in neighbouring Syria and, more recently, in Israel.
Main Political Parties
Political forces are assigned by a fixed number of seats according to their religious denomination. They group to form electoral alliances, but such coalitions are weakly connected in practice. The main parties represented in the parliament are:

- Free Patriotic Movement: right-wing, christian democracy, civic nationalism
- Development and Liberation Bloc: coalition formed by the Amal Movement and the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
- Hezbollah: Shia Islamist political party and militant group
- Progressive Socialist Party: centre/centre-left, its confessional base is in the Druze sect
- Lebanese Forces: Christian-based and former militia during the Lebanese civil war, right-wing
- Kataeb Party: right-wing, Christian.

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 the 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 Shiite Muslim.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
107/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
5/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: June 2024