A vali or governor-general, nominated by the sultan, stands at the head of the vilayet, and on him are directly dependent the kaimakams, mutassarifs, deftardars and other administrators of the minor divisions.
Under the governor are seven kaimakams, all Christians except a Druse in Shuf, and forty-seven niudirs, who all depend on the kaimakams except one in the home district of Deir al-Kamar.
This constitution has worked well on the whole, the only serious hitches having been due to the tendency of governors-general and kaimakams to attempt to supersede the mejliss by autocratic action, and to impair the freedom of elections.
At the instigation of the European powers he was recalled in December, and the Druses and Maronites were placed under separate kaimakams (governors), who, it was stipulated, were not to be of the family of Shehab.
Disturbances again broke out in 1845, the native mukatajis refusing to obey the kaimakams. The Maronites flew to arms, but with the assistance of the Turks their opponents carried the day.
The government was put into the hands of a mutessarif resident at Sheikh Saad, under whom are kaimakams at Suweda and Salkhad.