07/11/2008, 00.00
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National unity government formed in Beirut

Prime minister Fouad Sinora calls it "a new phase" in the nation's life. Following the Doha accords, the opposition has been given 11 out of 30 seats; the majority 16; the rest will be filled by the president. In the next few days, the disarmament of Hezbollah will be discussed.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - This afternoon, prime minister Fouad Siniora announced the ratification of a new national unity government, including seats for the opposition with discreet veto powers. The new government puts an end to months of stalemate in Lebanese politics, divided between the majority, supported by the international community, and Hezbollah and its allies, supported by Iran and Syria.

A turning point in the situation came with the meetings held last May in Doha, Qatar, where an accord was drawn up that is gradually being implemented.

After the election of Michel Sleiman as president last May 25, there were weeks of conflict over the formation of the government. According to the accord drawn up in Qatar, the opposition has a right to 11 out of 30 seats in the new government. The majority has 16 seats, while the rest will be filled by the president himself. All of the most important decisions will require a two-thirds majority (20 votes).

In the next few days, President Sleiman will gather the new government to discuss certain important topics. These include the disarmament of the Hezbollah militias. The "Party of God" continues to maintain and private weapons and militias, justifying these as necessary for its struggle against Israel.

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See also
At last, Lebanese factions reach agreement
Doha agreement, a compromise at the right time
Lebanese national dialogue conference: a "pastime" or a way out of the crisis?
Sarkozy in Beirut, challenges behind a friendly visit
Affair of downed Lebanese army helicopter crosses national borders


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