The Taif Accord (10/89) was concluded under the auspices of the Arab League and signed at a meeting of Lebanese parliamentarians in the city of Taif in Saudi Arabia. The Accord brought about the official end of the Lebanese civil war, reformed the Lebanese political system, and was supposed to define the parameters of the presence of the Syrian Army in Lebanon.
Content of the Accord
The Accord coalesced against the backdrop of 15 years of civil war in Lebanon, during which the various confessional and ethnic groups fought over governmental authority and influence. The goal of the Accord was to re-arrange the power relationships among these groups, to bring an end to foreign influence in Lebanon and to enable rehabilitation of the country.
The Accord was in essence a revision of the “National Covenant” of 1943, which dealt, among other things, with the division of parliamentary seats according to confessional, ethnic and geographical criteria. As a result, the ratio between Muslims and Christians (of various dominations) was 6 to 5 in favor of the Christians. The National Covenant also determined that the President of Lebanon would be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the head of Parliament a Shi’ite Muslim.
The arrangements in the National Covenant were based upon the 1932 Lebanese census. Since then, due to religious and ethnic issues in Lebanon, no census has been carried out.