Tags: lebanon hezbollah hariri

Lebanon's Gov't Topples Over Hariri Tribunal

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:42 PM

Beirut --Lebanon’s fractious coalition government collapsed Wednesday following the resignation of ministers representing the parliamentary opposition headed by the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

The dramatic move appears to herald a new escalation in the political drama over a six-year international investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The decision by the Hezbollah-led opposition to leave the government follows the declared failure of a five-month mediation effort by Syria and Saudi Arabia, both of which have influence in this tiny but volatile Mediterranean country, to help resolve Lebanon’s political deadlock.

In announcing the resignation of opposition ministers, Gibran Bassil, the energy minister, said the decision was “constitutional and legal” and called for the creation of a new government “in order for it to perform its duties.”

Lebanon’s 30-seat cabinet requires the resignation of 11 ministers to topple the government. The opposition share amounted to 10 ministers, but Adnan as-Sayyed, a minister of state who represents Michel Suleiman, the Lebanese president, also tendered his resignation.

Hezbollah members to be indicted?
The resignations came after Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the son of the slain former leader, refused an opposition demand to hold an immediate cabinet meeting to discuss the international tribunal based in The Netherlands. The tribunal is close to issuing a first set of indictments against those accused of assassinating his father.

It has been widely reported that members of Hezbollah will be among the names of those indicted. Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the assassination and insists that the tribunal is a political tool wielded by the West to place pressure on the organization.

Read the entire story at csmonitor.com

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:42 PM
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