Hariri and his cabinet resign

16 April 2003
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his 30-minister cabinet resigned on 15 April, reportedly in order that Hariri can form a more broadly-based government. President Lahoud has asked Hariri to remain as caretaker premier in the meantime. In the new cabinet, some Shiite ministers are likely to be replaced by fellow Shiites close to Parliament's speaker and leader of the Amal movement Nabih Berri, according to the local Daily Star. Berri has been campaigning for such a reshuffle for several months. Members of the Christian opposition are also likely to be included, the Daily Star reports. The resignation follows months of divisions within the cabinet over various issues, among them the sale of the two cellular licences, the budget, and the arrest of anti-Syrian demonstrators last year. The present cabinet has been in power since November 2000.

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