The end of political confessionalism in Lebanon?
Last Updated: March 04. 2010 5:32PM UAE / March 4. 2010 1:32PM GMT
Following appeals to end Lebanon’s sectarian system of political representation, Elias Muhanna the question remains if bolder strategies are needed to secure the nation’s unity. Last month, Lebanon’s Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, called for the creation of a committee. Across the land of the cedars, eyebrows rose and pulses quickened. For this was to be no ordinary committee. Its task, Berri explained, would be to explore the notion of abolishing Lebanon’s system of political confessionalism, in which government posts are divided among the country’s 18 officially recognised religious communities, according to a decades-old formula. Calling the current system a source of corruption and instability, Berri – who heads the Shiite political party Amal – insisted that abolishing it was a “national duty” mandated by the Lebanese Constitution.