Flag of Lebanon

Lebanon Government Profile 2017

Home > Factbook > Countries > Lebanon

Country nameconventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan
former: Greater Lebanon
etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Beirut
geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye
Independence22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
National holidayIndependence Day, 22 November (1943)
Constitutionhistory: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the Chamber of Deputies or proposed by at least 10 members of the Chamber of Deputies and agreed upon by two-thirds of its members; following government review and approval, the proposal is prepared as a draft amendment and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the chamber membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
Suffrage21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education; excludes military personnel
Executive branchchief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Saad al-HARIRI (since 18 December 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan HASBANI (since 18 December 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and National Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); (next to be held in 2022); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly
election results: Michel AWN elected president; National Assembly vote in second round - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because the National Assembly lacked a quorum to hold a vote; the president was elected in the 46th attempt on 31 October 2016
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic or Assemblee Nationale in French (128 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - seats are apportioned among the Christian and Muslim denominations
note: Lebanon’s Constitution states the National Assembly cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant
elections: last held on 7 June 2009 (next to be held in May 2017)
election results: percent of vote by coalition - March 8 Coalition 54.7%, March 14 Coalition 45.3%; seats by coalition - March 14 Coalition 71; March 8 Coalition 57; seats by coalition following 16 July 2012 byelection held to fill one seat - March 14 Coalition 72, March 8 Coalition 56
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders14 March Coalition: Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI]
Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL]
Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sebouh KELPAKIAN]
Hizballah-led bloc (formerly 8 March Coalition):
Amal Movement [Nabih BERRI]
Ba’th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [Fayez SHUKR]
Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL]
Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]
Islamic Actions Front [Sheikh Zuhair al-JU’AYD]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO]
Tashnag or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]
Independent: Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Walid JUNBLATT]

Political pressure groups and leadersGrand Mufti of Lebanon [Sheikh Abdul Latif DERIAN]
Maronite Church [Patriarch Bishara al-RA'I]
note: most sects retain militias and a number of Sunni militant groups operate in Palestinian refugee camps
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaries Carla JAZZAR (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Elizabeth H. RICHARD (since May 2016)
embassy: Awkar, Lebanon (Awkar facing the Municipality)
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; from US: US Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
telephone: [961] (4) 542600, 543600
FAX: [961] (4) 544136
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity
National symbol(s)cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green
National anthemname: "Kulluna lil-watan" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)
lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA
note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

Government Comparison