Lebanon forms new cabinet

14 June 2011

New cabinet formed almost five months after new prime minister was appointed

Lebanon has formed a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, five months after the previous government collapsed.

The new government sees an increase in the number of allies of Shia group Hezbollah sitting in the cabinet.

Hezbollah and its allies have taken 16 of 30 seats in the new cabinet, an increase of six from the 10 in the previous government. There are only two ministers from Hezbollah in the new cabinet, but the majority of the others are from factions allied to Hezbollah.

Mikati, who is backed by Hezbollah, was announced as prime minister on 25 January, when 68 out of the 125 members of parliament expressed support for his appointment. Mikati replaced Saad Hariri, who was forced out earlier in January when the unity government collapsed.

The collapse of the government was triggered by protests from opposition members in parliament over the UN investigation into the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Saad’s father, in 2005.

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