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Saturday, July 02, 2005 

Lebanon's cabinet: politicians show their true colours

The opposition which united to win a majority in Parliament has started to fracture as politicians position themselves to grab the 30 government posts.

Michel Aoun, who wasn't allowed to join Hariri's Future coalition has demanded 5 cabinet positions, despite winning just 15 seats in the 128 seat Parliament. He did join the coalition last week in the selection of the Parliament's Speaker (the third most important post in the country) - they re-elected Amal's Nabih Berri, a man who Aoun has shown little sympathy towards before.

Hizbollah have traditionally been the largest party in Parliament but have never held a government post. They have now demanded 2 seats after making huge gains in the election - they increased their number of seats from 8 to 23.

Their demand for government posts may be to balance the unpredictable - and potentially anti-Syrian - majority in government. But more importantly, they want to show the world what Lebanon has known for 15 years. That Hizbollah are a legimate poltical force.

New Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has defended Hizbollah, telling foreign powers to lay-off the Lebanese Resistance Movement - he said that issues regarding Hizbollah are domestic Lebanese issues.

I hope he is not waiting untill he gets approval from the Lebanese parliment,then changes his tone after the west insists on diarming Hizballah if Lebanon want any international assistence and forgivness for the thirty billion dollars or part of it.,naim

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