Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shaping Lebanon's Future - Brookings Institution
...Providing the Shi’ah with an alternative to Hizballah will require implementing some of the reforms called for in the 1989 Ta’if agreement. These reforms will impose political costs on some parts of the governing coalition. Changes would include: the decentralization of administration and municipalities, the creation of a bicameral legislature with the lower house holding the legislative initiative and an upper house to represent communal interests, a new electoral law (to more fairly represent the popular vote and end the gerrymandered constituency system), and a stronger, independent judiciary. The abolition of political sectarianism, while essential to the future of liberal democratic politics in Lebanon, is not a realistic goal in the near term (a gradual process is a more stable and desirable path)....

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