Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Electing the Lebanese President

October 2007

Academy of Political Science


The President of Lebanon is indirectly elected by the Chamber of Deputies every six years. The incumbent, General Emile Lahoud, was elected in 1998. His term of office, extended in 2004 by a constitutional amendment, ends on 24 November 2007. An unwritten constitutional convention, established by the National Pact (1943) and the Taef Agreement (1989), requires that the President of Lebanon must be a Maronite Christian. As Head of State, the Lebanese President must act as a symbol of national unity and independence, preside over the Supreme Defence Council and act as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.