11. Lebanese Legislative Branch
This chapter provides an informative account on the Assembly of Representatives, the speaker and overall legislative administration, distinguishing between the specialized committees. The Parliament’s functions are discussed in the context of power division and sectarian consociational politics.
National Assembly of Representatives
Lebanon’s national legislature is called the National Assembly of Representatives or the Chamber of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic) and is commonly referred to as the Parliament. It was originally established as a bicameral legislative body during the French Mandate but evolved into a unicameral assembly. It has changed its composition and structure several times. Since 1992, and following the stipulation of the Taef Agreement, its members became evenly composed of Christian and Muslim representatives, and it has since maintained this distribution among its 128 members. It convenes twice a year in ordinary sessions in March and in October. Extra parliamentary sessions are called for by the speaker. During the Assembly sessions, members discuss vital national legislations and vote on proposed laws, commonly introduced by the Council of ←183 | 184→Ministers. Among its most important functions are to vote for a new president, nominate a new prime minister, approve a new government’s lineup and policy guidelines, discuss and vote on the government’s annual budget, vote on key governmental appointments, and approve and amend critical pieces of legislation, such as electoral laws.
The Parliament has remained a unicameral, confessionally elected assembly throughout its history. The Taef Accord stipulated that a higher chamber or a...
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