The Taif Agreement Lebanon

The system of Lebanese political confessionalism (al-taifiyya al-siyasiyya) or political sectarianism was originally a response to a sociological and ideological challenge. A distribution of sectarian power had already been adopted under the Ottoman Empire, since the foundation of the administrative region of Lebanon in the nineteenth century as the nucleus of modern Lebanon. The system of government set up after the civil war in Lebanon in 1860, the Mutasarrifiyya, accepted as political actors the various religious sects, such as the agreement previously reached to end the conflict of 1840. After 1860, a board of directors was established under the authority of a non-Arab Ottoman governor, known as Mutasarrif, where seats were reserved for the six main religious sects in Lebanon, in proportion to their total.1 The Taif Agreement (Arabic: اتااقيڍلطائائاا / ittifāqiyat al-ā`if) (also the National Reconciliation Agreement or the National Convention Document) was an agreement, which was taken to „lay the foundations for the end of the civil war“ and the return to political normality in Lebanon“. [1] It was negotiated in Ta`if, Saudi Arabia, and was to end decades of Lebanese civil war and regain Lebanese authority in southern Lebanon (then controlled by the Southern Lebanese Army and backed by Israeli troops). Although the agreement set a timetable for the Syrian military withdrawal and the Syrians withdraw within two years, the actual withdrawal did not take place until 2005. It was signed on 22 October 1989 and ratified by the Lebanese Parliament on 5 November 1989. [2] Behind the harmless façade of a transfer of executive prerogatives from a once all-powerful presidency to the Council of Ministers, Taif reorganized constitutional powers and apparatuses. It also used a whole new paradigm for a sectarian balance of power by ending the political and symbolic hegemony of the Maronite establishment. However, the destination of the transferred presidential powers was unclear. By giving such powers to the cabinet, where religious parity was a formal guarantee of equality between communities, Taif also spread and spread power, making it difficult to locate and exercise them. It was also unclear who should be held accountable for the decisions. This situation has been aggravated by several provisions of the agreement, which have probably remained deliberately vague and have been interpreted.

One hundred years after the Sykes-Picot agreement delivered the countries of the MENA region to the grace of a decaying Ottoman Empire. The new nations that emerged from this agreement had no democratic history or democratic institutions to respect the rule of law.