Taif Agreement Ensured Shia Governmental Partnership through Finance Portfolio & Binding Signature on Ministerial Decrees

September 19, 2020


Mohammad Salami

Among the complications, which hinder the new cabinet formation in Lebanon, comes the rotation of the ministerial portfolios over the sects in accordance with the Constitution whose last amendment was in 1990, known as the Taif Agreement.

The essence of Taif agreement is transferring the powers of the President to the council of ministers, according to the former MP Nasser Qandil who added, in an interview with Al-Manar TV Channel, that the prime minister cannot monopolize the powers which the President enjoyed before 1990.

Kandil explained that the Shia governmental partnership is ensured through granting them the Finance portfolio which guarantees their binding signature on almost all the ministerial decrees, stressing that depriving the Shia from this right means excluding them from the partnership in the political system.

Kandil, who is also the editor-in-chief of Al-Binaa newspaper, pointed out the finance portfolio was given to the Shia in three governments formed after the Taif Agreement (Dr. Ali Khalil and Dr. Asaad Diab), adding that the House Speaker Nabih Berri agreed to relinquish it in favor of the late premier Rafik Hariri exclusively in the context of a guarantee presented by the Syrian President Hafez Al-Asad at that time.

“Shia governmental partnership was guaranteed by the troika presidential system till 2005 when Hariri was assassinated. After the regression of the political and security turmoil in 2009, the Shia secured one-third of of the government for 5 years. Since 2014, the finance portfolio has been granted to the Shia just in line with the Taif agreement.”

The PM-designate Mustafa Adib, backed by a group of former premiers, insist on rotating the ministerial portfolios over the sects, without taking into consideration the distinctive conditions of the finance portfolio, while Hezbollah and Amal Movement reject denying the Shia this right and highlight its role in ensuring their participation in the Lebanese political system.

Kandil stressed that the role of the PM-designate is to contact the various political forces in order to take their opinions and views into the consideration of the government formation, adding that reaching the end of this deadlock requires this positive approach.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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