Before the agreement, the Sunni Muslim prime minister was appointed and responsible by the Maronite president. After the Taif agreement, the prime minister was responsible for legislative power, as in a traditional parliamentary system. Therefore, the agreement changed the power-sharing formula that had favored Christians at a 50:50 ratio and strengthened the powers of the Sunni prime minister over those of the Christian president.  Before the Taif negotiations, a Maronite Christian, General Michel Aoun, was appointed Prime Minister by President Amine Gemayel on September 22, 1988. This had provoked a serious political crisis of a divided prime minister, the post being reserved for a Sunni Muslim under the 1943 national pact and Omar Karami held the post. The Taif agreement helped to overcome this crisis by preparing for the election of a new president. The treaty was conceived by the Speaker of Parliament, Hussein El-Husseini, and negotiated in 1972 in Ta`if, Saudi Arabia, by the surviving members of the Lebanese parliament.  The agreement came into effect with the active mediation of Saudi Arabia, the discreet participation of the United States and the influence of Syria behind the scenes.  According to As`ad AbuKhalil and many Lebanese Christians, the agreement severely limited presidential power in favor of the Council of Ministers, although there is an ongoing debate about whether this power has been transferred to the Council as a whole or to the Prime Minister. The president, who had considerable executive power before the deal, was reduced to a figurehead with no real and/or considerable power, as in most parliamentary republics. He also pointed out that the agreement had extended the mandate of the spokesman of the Lebanese Parliament from one year to four years, although the position “remains largely devoid of significant authority.”  The Taif Agreement (Arabic: اتاقية الطائااا / ittifāqiyat al-Āā`if) (also the National Reconciliation Agreement or The Document of National Unity) was an agreement, was made to “lay the foundations for the end of the civil war and the return to political normality in Lebanon.”  It was negotiated in Ta`if, Saudi Arabia, and was to end decades of Lebanese civil war and regain Lebanese authority in southern Lebanon (then controlled by the Southern Lebanese Army and backed by Israeli troops. . .