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Lebanon: New Government in 2011

lebanon government 2011
Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Najib Mikati is seen during an interview at his residency in Beirut on January 25, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Lebanon’s unity government collapsed on 12 January 2011 after the Hezbollah movement and its political allies pulled their ministers from Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s administration. There had been growing political tension ever since Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, learned that the special tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating the murder of Rafic Hariri, was to implicate some of his members in the assassination. All ten opposition ministers pulled out of the cabinet when Saad Hariri, Rafic Hariri’s son, refused to convene a cabinet meeting to discuss the investigation into his father’s murder.

Two weeks later, on 25 January 2011, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman issued a decree appointing Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati as the new Prime Minister. Mikati subsequently prepared talks on forming a new government. Months of haggling followed, during which Christian leader Amin Gemayel announced he would not be joining the cabinet. On 13 June 2011, Mikati presented his new government, in which Hezbollah and its allies hold the majority.