Lebanon has an unusual political system based on sectarian representation. The model – established through tradition – allows for power-sharing between Christians, Druzes, Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims among other religious groups. Although praised for its relative stability, the system is one where a small politically connected elite appropriates the bulk of economic surplus and redistributes it through communal clientelism.
A group of 66 candidates from the Civil Society have contested the 2018 general elections under the name “Kulluna Watani – We are all for our country”. The general elections were the first after 9 years of political deadlock, and they introduced proportional representation for the first time in the history of the nation. Nevertheless, the turnout was low at 49.7%, and the traditional parties succeeded in seizing all but one seat in the parliement: Paula Yacoubian’s.
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