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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 

Lebanese elections one step closer

Lebanon's interim Prime Minister has won the agreement of opposition and pro-Syrian MPs for his new Cabinet - a legal requirement before an election can be called.

There had been fears that disagreement between the opposition and loyalists would delay May's elections and send the country into political quick-sand.

But now that opposition backed Prime Minister Najib Al-Miqati has selected a neutral cabinet (that was one of the opposition's conditions), an election can be called. None of the new ministers is standing for election (a full list is available here). The PM has said that the election will be held next month.

Another key opposition demand - the withdrawal of Syrian troops - looks like it will be fulfilled within days. There are just a thousand soldiers left in Lebanon.

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