Establishing a Lebanese Senate: Bicameralism and the Third Republic

The Ta’if Accords, which ended Lebanon’s civil war, called explicitly for the dismantling of political confessionalism through the election of a Chamber of Deputies on “a national, non-confessional basis” and the formation of a Senate representing all of Lebanon’s various sects. Lebanese leaders from across the ideological and confessional spectrum have declared their support for this idea, and it is routinely raised whenever questions of institutional reform and “de-confessionalism” are discussed. However, the Ta’if Accords provide no details beyond the basic description of two legislative chambers elected on different bases, a fact which prompts a wide range of questions about the architecture and implementation of such a system. This paper explores these questions and proposes several bicameral models based on a comparative political analysis.