[Part Three] | [Contents]

Lebanon's First Postwar Parliamentary Election, 1992: An Imposed Choice by Farid el Khazen


* This study was written in 1994.Back

**Farid el Khazen is Associate Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut and editor of the AUB publication al-Abhath. He is author of numerous studies on Lebanon and the Middle East. His most recent publication is The Breakdown of the State in Lebanon, 1907-1976 (I.B.Tauris, 1997).Back

1 See lliya Harik, 'Mann Yahkurn Lubnan' (Beirut: Dar al-Nahar lil-Nashr, 1972). On elections and parliaments, see Antoine Nasri Messarra, La Structure sociale du Parlement libanais, 1920-1976 (Beirut: Publications du Centre de Recherches, Université libanaise, 1977); Abdo I. Baaklini, Legislative and Political Development: Lebanon, 1842-1972 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1976); Khayrallah Ghanem, Le Système electoral et la vie politique au Liban (Kaslik: Université Saint-Esprit, 1983); Sami Abi Tayeh, Structure socio-juridique du phénomene electoral au Liban, 2 vols (Beirut: Publications de l'Université libanaise, 1982); jalal Zuwiyya, The Parliamentary Election of Lebanon, 1968 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972); Salim Sleiman, Le Parlement libanais (Zalka: Le Livre Préféré, 1979); Michel Murkos, al-jumhuriyya qabla an Tanhar: Dirasa fi Tarikh al-Intikhabat al-Niyabiyya (Beirut: 1978). On parliaments during the French mandate, see Sonia Debs Daher, 'Le composition sociale des Assemblées parlementaires libanaises 1920-1943', Thèse pour le doctorat 3eme Cycle, Paris 1981. Back

2 See the public opinion poll conducted by al-Wasat, published in London. This showed that 57.3 per cent of Lebanese rejected participating in the elections, while 38.6 per cent favoured participation (4 per cent gave no answer). The highest negative answer was among the youth (61.1 per cent). Back

3 The term 'Second Republic' is widely used, although it loses precision in constitutional terms. Concerning the mandate and the constitution, see Pierre Rondot, Les Institutions politiques du Liban: Des communautés traditionnelles a l'Etat moderne (Paris: Edition de l'Institut d'Etudes de I'Orient contemporain, 1947); Albert Hourani, Syria and Lebanon: A Political Essay (London: Oxford University Press, 1946). Back

4 For a recent comprehensive work on the war, see Theodor Hanf, Coexistence in Wartime Lebanon: Decline of a State and Rise of a Nation (London: Centre for Lebanese Studies and I.B.Tauris, 1993). On the first phases of the war, see for example, Kamal Salibi, Crossroads to Civil War: Lebanon 1958-1976 (Delmar: Caravan Books, 1976); Walid Khalidi, Conflict and Violence in Lebanon (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979); Marius Deeb, The Lebanese Civil War (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1980); Edward Haley and Lewis W. Snider, Lebanon in Crisis: Participants and Issues (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1979). Back

5 On this period, see Karim Pakradouni, 'La'nat al-Watan', Min Harb Lubnan ila Harb al-Khalij (Beirut: Abr al-Sharq lil-Manshurat, 1991), pp. 9-13; Sarkis Na'um, Michel Aoun, Hilm am lVahm? (Beirut: n.p., 1992), pp. 53-62; Carol Dagher, General wa Rihan (Beirut: Manshurat Malaff al-Alam al-Arabi, 1992), pp. 75-12 1. Back

6 See Pakradouni, op. cit., pp. 15-23; Na'um, ibid. Back

7 For an account on that period, see Salim al-Hoss, 'Ahd al-Qarar wa al-Hawa. Tajarib al- Hukm fi Hiqbat al-Inqisam, 1987-1990 (Beirut: Dar al-'Ilm lilmalayin, 199 1), pp. 18-97. Back

8 On the National Covenant, see Joseph Maila, 'Le Document d'entente nationale, un commentaire', Les Cahiers de I'Orienl, no. 16-17 (1989), pp. 135-217, and 'L'Accord de Taef, deux ans après', Les Cahiers de l'Orient, no. 24 (1991), pp. 13-691; Habib C. Malik, 'Lebanon in the 1990s: Stability Without Freedom', Global Affairs (Winter 1992), pp. 79-109; Paul Salem, 'Commentary on the Ta'if Agreement', The Beirut Review, no. I (Spring 1991), pp. 119-72; Augustus Richard Norton, 'Lebanon After Ta'if. Is the Civil War Over?' The Middle East Journal (Summer 1991),pp.457-73. Back

9 On these developments, see Albert Mansour, al-Inqilab 'ala al-Ta'if (Beirut: Dar al-Jadid, 1992), pp. 115-39. Also, see Pakradouni, op. cit., p. 199-229; Na'um, op. cit., pp. 83-114; Dagher, op. cit., pp. 277-332. Back1

10 On developments in US policy towards Lebanon, see Farid el Khazen, 'al-Alaqat al-Lubnaniyya al-Amrikiyya fit Siyasat al-Tawazun al- Iqlimi', al-Difa' al-lVatani al-Lubnani (October 1991), pp. 10-29; and 'Min Bayrut ila 'Ukar: al-Siyasa al-Amrikiyya bayn al-Waqi' wa Hajis al-Mu'amara', al-Difa' al-Watani al-Lubnani (August 1990), pp. 99-117. On US policy during the preparation of Ta'if, see Abdallah Bou Habib, al-Daw al-Asfar (Beirut: Sharikat al-Matbu'at lil-Tawzi' wal-Nashr, 1991), pp. 168-233; Na'um, op. cit., pp. 195-204. Also, see Barbara M. Gregory, 'US Relations with Lebanon: A Troubled Course', American-Arab Affairs (Winter 1990/1), pp. 62-93. Back

11 This was confirmed in summer 1992 by an observer of electoral politics who did not wish to be identified. Back

12 See al-Nahar, 8 August 1992. Back

13 Author's interview with a senior politician involved in the 1992 elections. He did not want to be identified, Back

14 On Minister Sami al-Khatib's position, see al-Safir, 30 May 1992, and al-Nahar, 5 and 22 June 1992. On Minister Abdallah al-Amin's position, see al-Nahar, 29 June 1992. On Minister Dalloul's position, see al-Hayat, 29 July 1992. Back

15 At the beginning of July, Raymond Ed& took the position of non-participation in the elections if they were held in 1992. See al-Nahar, 9 and 17 July 1992. General Aoun's anti-election stand was well-known, see al-Nahar, 13 May 1992. So was the position of National Liberal Party leader Dory Chamoun, see al-Nahar, 5 July 1992. Back

16 In the Kisirwan constituency, the Wa'ad Party candidate Sami Khuwayri's insisted on continuing the 'battle', even after the first round had been cancelled. The Wa'ad Party is headed by Elie Hobeika. Back

17 On criticisms of the electoral law and the election process levied by the opposition, see al-Nahar, 7, 13, 17, 18 and 21 July 1992. Also, see Ghassan Tueni's collected articles on the elections, Qabla an Yadhamuna al-Ya's (Beirut: Dar al-Nahar lil-Nashr, 1992), Fu'ad Butros, 'Kitab Maftuh ila Fakhamat Ra'is al-Jumhuriyya al-Ustadh Elias Hrawi', al-Nahar, 12 August 1992, and Albert Mokheiber, al-Hayat, I I August 1992. Back

18 On Patriarch Sfeir's position, see al-Nahar, 13, 15 and 23 July 1992, and 24 and 27August 1992. On the Council of Maronite Bishops' position, see L'Orient Le Jour, 6 August 1992. On the positions of other religious leaders, see the statement by theArmenian Catholic Patriarch in L'Orient Le Jour, 7 August 1992; for the Higher Greek Catholic Council's position, see al-Nahar, 25 July 1992. On the position of the Druze Shaykh al-Aql, see al-Nahar, 27 July 1992. On the Ja'fari Mufti Qabalan's position against the elections under current conditions, see al-Safir, 23 June, and 4 and 18 July 1992. Also see Emile Khouri, al-Hayat, 15 July 1992, and Sarkis Na'um, al-Nahar, 25 August 1992. Back

19 The total number of displaced in these areas is 450,000, of whom 62 per cent are from Mount Lebanon. See the Ministry of the Displaced's official report, 'Qadiyat al-Tahjir, Waqi' wa Arqam', November 1992. Back

20 See Albert Mansour, op. cit., p. 58. Back

21 At the Lausanne Conference in 1984, the number of deputies was increased to 120: Elie Salem, op. cit., p. 3. We should note that the Syrian-backed Tripartite Agreement signed between the Christian, Sh'ia and Druze militias in December 1985 stipulated raising the number of deputies to 198. On the number of deputies in the new electoral law, see Albert Mansour, op. cit., pp. 124-75. Also see al-Nahar, 17 and 25 June 1992. 22. On the differences between the expanded and the small constituencies, and their political effects, see Messarra, op. cit., pp. 303-20. Back

23 In Beirut, former premier Salim al-Hoss announced his incomplete list on 24 August, or six days before the election. In the Northern Metn, the one list that was formed was announced on 27 August, ten days before the elections on 7 September. Hizballah was the first to announce the names of its candidates in the Bekaa', Beirut and Ba'abda on 5 August, or 18 days before the elections began. Back

24 On this subject, see Harik, op. cit., pp. 69-77. Back

25 Figures are from al-Safir, 19 June 1992 and from the official results announced by the Ministry of the Interior. Back

26 Ibid.; al-Nahar, 30 April 1992, and al-Safir, 19 June 1992. The Shi'a deputy for Jbeil was elected by Shi'a voters, due to the Christian boycott. Back

27 Ministry of the Interior figures, and al-Safir, 19 June 1992. Back

28 There are five Armenian deputies in Beirut: three Orthodox, one Catholic and one Protestant. There was an objection to the Protestant seat going to an Armenian, for the seat was specifically designated to the Protestant sect and the Armenians as a group are represented along sectarian lines (Orthodox and Catholic). Back

29 On the many proposals by prominent deputies to postpone the elections, see al-Nahar, al-Safir and al-Hayat, 7 August 1992; al-Nahar, 14 August 1992; al-Safir, 19 August 1992. Back

30 See Albert Mansour, op. cit., pp. 187-229; and Sarkis Na'um, al-Nahar, 25-29 August 1992. Back

31 The Lebanese lira-US dollar exchange rate reached its highest level at 2775 lira to the dollar during August 1992, the eve of the elections. On the deteriorating economic conditions in 1992, see Samir Makdisi, 'Fi Khalfiyyat Tawajuhhat al-Siyasa al-Iqtisadiyya fi Lubnan', al-Zamil (February 1992), pp. 6-11. Back

32 The deputies were Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz and Deputies Nassib Lahoud, Pierre Helou, Fuad al-Sa'ad and Auguste Bakhos. See al-Nahar, 29 August 1992. Back

33 See al-Safir, 20 August 1992; and al-Nahar, I August 1992. Back

34 See Adib Ne'meh, al-Nahar, 3 February 1993. According to some newspapers, the name of Yusuf Beyk Karam (died 1889) appeared on the Zgharta electoral list. Al-Nahar, 14 August 1992; L'Orient-Le Jour, 14 August 1992. Back

35 On the opposition's criticisms of the 1947 round, see Jarimat 25 Ayyar Kayfa Jarat al-Intikhabat al-Niyabiyya fi Lubnan? (Hizb al- Kutla al-Wataniyya, 1947). Back

36 See Speaker Husseini's statements on the Ba'albak-Hermel constituency's electoral violations in al-Nahar and al-Safir, 24 and 25 August 1992. Also see Albert Mansour, op. cit., pp. 181-6. Back

37 See the official report for Ba'albak-Hermel, in al-Nahar, 2 September 1992. This was the only official report on the elections published in the press. For example, there were 12 opened ballot boxes, 59 without envelopes or with envelopes lacking the red wax seal, 52 lacking reports of results and 23 lacking tabulation lists or signed lists. A television photographer shot footage of an empty ballot box in a supermarket in a town in the Bekaa'! Also, see Albert Mansour, op. cit.. pp. 181-6. Back

38 See the detailed report on voting-day electoral violations submitted by Kamil al-As'ad's list, al-Nahar, 12 September 1992. Back

39 On the electoral dispute between Franjieh and Karami in the North, see al-Anwar, 5 and 9 August 1992; al-Nahar 10 August 1992; L'Orient-Le Jour, 10 August 1992. Back

40 On the evolution in voter turnout in Lebanese parliamentary elections, see Iliya Harik, 'Voting Behaviour, Lebanon', in Landau, Ozbudun and Tachau (eds) Electoral Politics in the Middle East (London: Croom Heim, 1980), pp. 145-7 1; and Baaklini, op. cit., pp. 154- 7. Back

41 Percentages for official results for winning and losing candidates in all constituencies are from Ministry of the Interior reports and figures in various press sources. Back

42 On parliamentary elites, see Iliya 1. Harik, 'Political Elite of Lebanon', in George Lenczowski (ed.) Political Elites in the Middle East (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1975), pp. 201-20; Khalaf op. cit., pp. 243-72; Baaklini, op. cit., pp. 141-97; Messarra, op. cit., pp. 141-24 1. Back

43 Abd al-Rahman al-Bizri (the son of Sidon's former deputy, Nazih al-Bizri) and Nasir alKhalil (the son of Tyre's former deputy, Kazim al-Khalil). The 12 deputies are Elie Skaff, Suleiman Franjieh, Samir Aoun, Talal Arslan, Omar Karami, Walid Joumblatt, Ali Osseiran, Faris Boueiz, Nayla Maoawad, Marwan Abu-Fadel, Mansour al-Bone and Mustafa Sa'ad (the fathers of Boueiz, Bone and Sa'ad were not deputies in tile 1972 parliament). Back

44 This applies particularly to the constituencies of Jbeil, Northern Metn and Beirut. Back

45 Messarra, op. cit., pp. 224, 23 1 and 24 1. Back

46 Ibid., p. 166. Back

47 Khalaf, op. cit., p. 248. Back

48 See Michael C. Hudson, The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (New York: Random House, 1968). Back

49 On political parties in Lebanon, see Michael W. Suleiman, Political Parties in Lebanon: The Challenge of a Fragmented Political Culture (New York: Cornell University Press, 1967). On political parties and electoral policy, see Messarra, op. cit. pp. 71-95; Baaklini, op. cit., pp. 178-97; Ghanem, op. cit., pp. 113-40; Iliya Harik, 'al-Ahzab wa al-Tamthil al-Dimuqrati', in Riyad al-Samad and Samir Sabbagh, al- 'Amaliyya al-Intikhabiyya wa al-Dimuqratiyya fi Lubnan, (Beirut: al-Mu'assasa al-Jami'iyya lil-Dirasat wa al-Tawzi', 1987), pp. 117-30. Back

50 Messarra, op. cit., pp. 77-8 1. Back

51 On previous elections, see al-Nahar, 'Khamsin Sana wa Sana', December 1971-January 1972. Also, see 'al-Hayat al-Barlamaniyya fi Lubnan', (3 parts) al-Nahar 1968; Jean Ma'louf and Joseph Abi Farhat, al-Mawsu'a al-Intikhabiyya al-Musawwara, (Beirut: Nashr al-Mu'allifin, 1972); Camille Chehab, 1960: Les elections legislatives (Beirut: 1960); Gideon Tadmor, 'The Lebanese Elections', Middle Eastern Affairs (June-July 1951), pp. 247-50; G. E. Kirk, 'Elections in the Lebanese Republic', The World Today (June 1957), pp. 260-5; Malcolm H. Kerr, 'The 1960 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections', Middle Eastern Affairs (October 1960), pp. 266-75; Nicola A. Ziadeh, 'The Lebanese Elections, 1960', The Middle East Journal (Autumn 1960), pp. 367-8 1; Jacob M. Landau, 'Elections in Lebanon', The Western Political Review (March 1961), pp. 120-47; Michael Suleiman, 'Elections in a Confessional Democracy', The Journal of Politics (February 1967), pp. 109-28. On municipal elections in 1963, see Elie Salem, 'Local Elections in Lebanon: A Case Study', Midwest Journal of Political Science (November 1965), pp. 376-87. Back

52 See Ralph E. Crow, 'Electoral Issues: Lebanon', in Landau et al., op. cit., pp. 39-68. Back

53 Francis Fukuyama, 'The End of History', The National Interest (Summer 1989), pp. 3-18. Back

54 On Hizballah, see Assaf Kfoury, 'Hizballah: La nebuleuse', Arabies, pp. 20-3 1. Back

55 See 'Fadlallah An al-Intikhabat wa Mustaqbal al-Muqawama', (interview) Shu'un al-Awsat (December 1992), p. 40; also, see Sarkis Na'um, al-Nahar, 16 September 1992. Back

56 Messarra, op. cit., pp. 45-57. Back

57 See former minister Shawqi Fakhouri's statement on the role of money in the elections of the constituency of Zahleh, al-Nahar, 25 August 1992. Also, see the statement of alAs'ad's list in al-Nahar, 25 August 1992. Back

58 On local policy during the mandate, see Iskandar al-Riyashi, Qabl wa Ba'd, (Beirut: Matba'a al-Irfan, 1953). Back

59 On Shia communal transformation in wartime Lebanon, see Fouad Ajami, The Vanished Imam: Mussa al-Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985); Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi'a: Struggle for the Sold of Lebanon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987). Back

60 Michael Johnson, Class and Client in Beirut: The Sunni Muslim Community and the Lebanese State, 1940-1985 (London: Ithaca Press, 1986). Back

61 Michael Hudson, 'The Electoral Process and Political Development in Lebanon', The Middle East Journal (Spring 1966), p. 174. Back

62 See Ralph E. Crow, 'Parliament in the Lebanese Political System', in Allen Kornberg and Lioys D. Musolf (eds), Legislatures in Developmental Perspective (Durham: Duke University Press, 1970), pp. 273-302; Abdo 1. Baaklini, 'Legislative Reforms in Lebanon', in Abdo 1. Baaklini and James J. Heaphey, Comparative Legislative Reforms and Innovations (Albany: State University of New York, 1977). Back

63 On electoral reform projects, see Antoine Messarra, 'Les propositions de reforme de la Loi electorale, 1963-1968. Essai de synthèse', Revue Libanaise des Sciences Politiques (January 1968-70), pp. 1-34. Also see Iliya Harik, 'al-Nizam al-Akthari wa al-Nizam al-Nisbi; Ayyahuma Afdal li-Lubnan?' al-Nahar, 11-12 May 1972. Back

64 See Ghassan Tuéni, al-Nahar, 27 August 1992. Back

65 See Deputy Najah Wakim's statements on this issue in The Lebanon Report (July 1992), p. 3. Back

66 See Jihad al-Zayn, al-Safir, 15 August 1992. Back

67 See Waddah Sharara, 'al-Intisarat fi Lubnan Mustamirra Nahwa al-Tathir al-Siyasi', al-Hayat, 14 September 1992; Khayrallah Khayrallah, al-Hayat, 17 September 1992; Bishara Shirbil and Ali al-Ruz, al-Hayat, 5, 6, 7 August 1992. Also see George Nasif, 'al- Intikhabat al-Lubnaniyya: al-Ab'ad al-Dakhiliyya wal-Kharijiyya', Shu'un al-Sharq al-Awsat (December 1992), pp. 23-30. Back

68 On the nature of pre- 1943 Muslim opposition, see Edmond Rabbath, La Formation historique du Liban politique et constitutionnel (Beirut: Publications de l'Université libanaise, 1973), pp. 329-512; Farid el Khazen, The Communal Pact of National Identities (Oxford: Centre for Lebanese Studies, 1991). Back

69 Farid el Khazen, 'Lebanon's Communal Elite-Mass Politics: The Institutionalization of Disintegration', The Beirut Review (Spring 1992), pp. 53-82. Back

70 Guy Hermet, 'State-Controlled Elections: A Framework', in Hermet, Rose and Rouquié (eds), Elections Without Choice (London: Macmillan Press, 1978), pp. 1-18; Richard Rose, 'Is Choice Enough? Elections and Political Authority', in Hermet, op. cit., pp. 96- 212. See also Martin Harrop and William L. Miller, Elections and Voters. A Comparative Introduction (London: Macmillan Press, 1987), pp. 15-40. Back

71 Hermet, op. cit., p. 13. Back

72 Ibid. Back

73 Ibid. Back

74 See, for example, Bernard Grofman and Arend Lijphart (eds) Electoral Laws and their Political Consequences (New York: Agathon Press, 1985), pp. 43-68, 113-23. Back

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