Friday, July 11, 2008

Lebanon: New 'unity government' formed

Beirut, 11 July (AKI) - Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has formed a unity cabinet composed of 30 members on Friday, where the militant Shia movement Hezbollah has veto power over decisions.

"The main role of this government will be to restore confidence in the Lebanese constitution and lead the country to the 2009 parliamentary elections," said Siniora during a media conference in capital Beirut on Friday.

The announcement came after six weeks of talks. Opposition groups allegedly supported by neighbouring Syria and Iran are now able to veto decisions taken by the Western-backed government.

Hezbollah's veto power is part of an Arab-league brokered deal reached in the Qatari capital Doha in mid-May by the Western-backed government and the opposition. The deal ended months of political deadlock which saw Lebanon without a president. The political crisis sparked violent sectarian clashes in what was described as the worst fighting since the 1975-90 civil war.
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