Monday, August 20, 2007

The Lebanese Constitution: On Electing a President

Article 49 [Presidential Powers]

(1) The President of the Republic is the head of the state and the symbol of the nation's unity. He shall safeguard the constitution and Lebanon's independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The President shall preside over the Supreme Defense Council and be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces which fall under the authority of the Council of Ministers.

(2) The President of the Republic shall be elected by secret ballot and by a twothirds majority of the Chamber of Deputies. After a first ballot, an absolute majority shall be sufficient. The President's term is for six years. He may not be re-elected until six years after the expiration of his last mandate. No one may be elected to the Presidency of the Republic unless he fulfills the conditions of eligibility for the Chamber of Deputies.

(3) It is also not possible to elect judges, Grade One civil servants, or their equivalents in all public institutions to the Presidency during their term or office or within two years following the date of their resignation or their leaving office for whatever reason.


Article 73 [Election of the President]

One month at least and two months at most before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic, the Chamber is summoned by its President to elect the newPresident of the Republic. However, should it not be summoned for this purpose, the Chamber meets of its own accord on the tenth day preceding the expiration of the President's term of office.

Article 74 [Vacancy of Presidency]

Should the Presidency become vacant through the death or resignation of the President or for any other cause, the Chamber meets immediately and by virtue of the law to elect a successor. If the Chamber happens to be dissolved at the time the vacancy occurs, the electoral bodies are convened without delay and, as soon as the elections have taken place, the Chamber meets by virtue of the law.


  1. Anonymous9:19 PM

    The President of the Republic shall be elected by secret ballot and by a twothirds majority of the Chamber of Deputies. After a first ballot, an absolute majority shall be sufficient.

    Is that so hard to read?

    First round: 2/3 majority
    Second round: 1/2+ majority

    If the pro-Syrians don't want to show up for the vote, then thats their problem. It says nothing about openning Parliament.

  2. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Article 32 [Ordinary Sessions]

    The Chamber meets each year in two ordinary sessions. The first session opens on the first Tuesday following 15 March and continues until the end of May. The second session begins on the first Tuesday following 15 Oct; its meetings is reserved for the discussion of and voting on the budget before any other work. This session lasts until the end of the year.

    !!Berri already violated the Constitution by refusing to open this session!!

    Article 33 [Extraordinary Sessions]
    The ordinary sessions begin and end automatically on the dates fixed in Article 32. The President of the Republic in consultation with the Prime Minister may summon the Chamber to extraordinary sessions by a Decree specifying the dates of the opening and closing of the extraordinary sessions as well as the agenda. The President of the Republic is required to convoke the Chamber if an absolute majority of the total membership so requests.

    !!Lahoud has no choice, M14 is already the absolute majority so he must open Parliament!!

  3. Thanks for the comments and sorry for the slow posting/updating this week...

    ...just another one of those hectic weeks to which (Lebanese)politics had to take a back seat. But hopefully I'll be able to put up more material as the working week comes to an end.

  4. Arabic Coffee Pot6:51 PM

    Whats the point of a Constitution if we're going to amend it every time we use it???

    No to amendments!!

  5. hi Blacksmiths,
    please let me know if you would like to be added to Human Rights Watch's list to receive our news & reports on Lebanon, and I am glad to sign you up. You can reach me at

    thanks & best,

    Brian Griffey
    Human Rights Watch

  6. Anonymous12:31 AM

    Also check out article 34:

    Article 34 [Quorum]
    The Chamber is not validly constituted unless the majority of the total membership is present. Decisions are to be taken by a majority vote. Should the votes be equal, the question under consideration is deemed rejected.


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