The Election of His Eminence Sheikh Akl of the Unitarian Druze Community
Law of the Organization of the Unitarian Druze Community (Law dated June 9, 2006)
Reference: Official Gazette No. 30 Date June 12, 2006 p. 3515
Chapter I: Establishment of the Confessional Council of the Unitarian Druze Community and its Powers
A Druze Council of the Unitarian Druze Community is established in the Lebanese Republic. It is a council called the Confessional Council of the Unitarian Druze Community. It administers the temporal, social and financial affairs as well as the religious interests of the community, represents them in matters related to its functions, and ensures the promotion of their rights.
The powers of the confessional council include:
1 – The election of Sheikh Akl of the Unitarian Druze Community in accordance with the provisions of this law.
2 – The acceptance of grants and donations to the council and to the Druze endowments in accordance with the laws in force.
3- The suggestion of the amendment and replacement of all public authorities related to the Unitarian Druze Community and the employment and dismissal of all its employees in accordance with the provisions of this law, based on the general autonomy of the confessional council to deal with all matters and affairs related to this community.
4 – The supervision the Druze endowments, the institutions and the associations of the Unitarian Druze Community and taking the necessary decisions to ensure their proper management, the manner of their exploitation, the disbursement of their proceeds and everything that would achieve their goal excluding the endowments of the Bayadah of this supervision because they remain under the authority and supervision of Sheikhs.
In the application of the above shall abide by the legal concept of wakf conditions.
5- The declaration of the budget of the Awkaf Committee and the authentication of the annual financial report as well as the revision of the periodic reports of the committees of the council to follow up its good work and make the necessary observations thereon.
6. The ratification of the rules of the financial and administrative committees of the council without prejudice to the principle of freedom of belief, by a majority of votes cast by members of the confessional council in the first session and by the total members present at the following sessions.
7- The supervision of the election of the administrative committees of the community’s institutions and associations as well as to be informed about their budgets and accounts, and their related publications.
8 - The intervention to resolve any conflict between the officials of these institutions and associations and to give a decision in this regard. Its decision shall be (1) final and binding.
Decisions regarding the matters specified in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 shall be made by the votes of the absolute majority of the members of the confessional council present.
Chapter Three: Election of the Sheikh of the Druze and the End of his Mandate
The candidate for Akl Sheikhdom shall be:
1- A Lebanese of the Unitarian Druze Community and forty years old.
2- Of the people of religion and piety, practicing Unitarian religious duties, for a period exceeding five years according to the prevailing custom.
3- With the knowledge and spiritual culture and knowledge of the traditions and customs of the community.
4 – Enjoying good conduct, apart from what affects religion and dignity in its religious and legal behavior.
The term of Sheikh Akl is fifteen years from the date of his election, and it is renewable by a decision of the confessional council with the consent of absolute majority of its members.
The Sheikh Akl shall not be exempt of his position except upon his request or for serious reasons that threaten the dignity, unity, entity or reputation of the community or for health reasons that prevent him from carrying out his duties determined by the permanent medical committee in Beirut at the request of one quarter of the members of the confessional council.
If he does not retire voluntarily, he shall be exempted by a decision of a majority of two thirds of the general committee of the confessional council’s legal members on the suggestion of at least one quarter of his members.
In all cases, Sheikh Akl's term ends at the age of seventy-five years old.
Before the end of the term of the Sheikh Akl for at least one month and two months at the most, the confessional council shall meet due to an invitation of its president, to elect a new Sheikh Akl. This invitation shall include the time and the place of the election and shall be posted at the entrances of the community house, at the confessional council’s headquarter and at the Druze confessional courts as well as it shall be published in three major local newspapers for three consecutive days. The election takes place at the Druze Community House in Beirut or if it is not possible for force majeure it shall take place in any public Druze council in Lebanon determined by the invitation.
In the event that the Head of the Council fails to perform the above-mentioned invitation for any reason, the confessional council shall duly hold a meeting on the first working day following the start of the two-month deadline mentioned above to set the date of the election. In this case, the council shall be headed by the oldest member, and he shall determine the date of election as well as declare it within ten days, provided that the time limit for the election shall not exceed fifteen days from the date of the declaration.
The request for candidature for Sheikh Akl shall be submitted by a written letter to the secretariat of the confessional council of the Community before twenty days from the date of the election. The letter shall be signed by ten members of the confessional council, provided that one-third of these members of the religious committee in the confessional council. Upon registration, the candidate shall be given an official receipt from the secretary.
In the case of vacancy of the position of Sheikh Akl due to death or to the reasons stated in Article 30 of this law, the oldest member of the confessional council invites the Council to the session of the election of Sheikh Akl in accordance with the provisions of this law.
The electorate for the position of Sheikh Akl is composed of the members of the confessional council of the community, which meets under the chairmanship of the oldest member or the successor, provided that the person who assumes the presidency of the electorate is not a candidate for the new position of Sheikh Akl. The quorum of the meeting of the confessional council shall be considered legal for the election, as abovementioned in this article, in the presence of two thirds of its members in the first session, and the absolute majority of its members in the following sessions. The winner is the one who has the majority of the votes of the present members. In case of equal votes, the oldest shall be regarded as winner. When the candidates are from the same age, the winner is determined by a draw.
The election of the Sheikh Akl shall be by secret balloting. The white ballot paper shall not contain other than the candidate's third name: his name, his father's name, and his name only, without any words or titles other than that. Those colored or bearing any mark or word other than the name of the candidate shall be void.
The eldest shall supervise the election process, the sort of ballots and the announcement of the results being the president of the electorate, assisted by the secretary of the confessional council and the younger member of the council members that are present and not a candidate.
The results shall be announced immediately after the sorting of the ballots has been completed. An official minutes of the election process and the announced results shall be made and signed by the president of the electorate and the members of the committee supervising the election process. This minutes shall be registered at the private register in the secretariat.
The result of the election shall be considered as final as soon as it is announced. The elected Sheikh shall duly and immediately enjoy the quality of the Sheikh Akl of the Unitarian Druze Community and shall retain the election papers until the expiry of the appeal period.
The final result shall be announced to the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Parliament and the Prime Minister.
The appeal for the election results shall be accepted only by the loser, for the purpose of deceit, fraud or crucial violation of the electoral rules.
The appeal shall be submitted within a maximum period of three days from the date of the announcement of the electoral results to the Supreme Druze Court of Appeal for adjudication within seven days from the date of registration of the appeal with the Registry of the said court. Its judgment shall be irrevocable and final.