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  1. Lebanon Main Page
  2. Warring Factions Within Lebanon and Regional Conflicts Make Peace Impossible
  3. Continuing Conflict with Israel Leads to the Formation of Hezbollah
  4. Israeli Attacks and Syrian Meddling Continue
  5. Syrian Occupation Ends, but Syrian Influence Continues
  6. A Failed Israeli Attack Increases Hezbollah's Power
  7. Terrorism Within Lebanon Leads to a Troubled Government
  8. Hezbollah Flexes Its Muscle and Gains a Greater Stake in the Government
  9. Pro-Western Coalition Maintains Its Majority in Parliament
  10. Lebanon Dragged into War in Syria
  11. Prime Minister Mikati Resigns
  12. Civil War in Syria Spills over into Lebanon
Pro-Western Coalition Maintains Its Majority in Parliament

On March 1, 2009 an international court at The Hague was set up to investigate the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The move generated hope that progress was being made in the case. However, in May the court freed four pro-Syrian generals who had been linked to the murder, claiming it lacked evidence to convict them.

In June 2009 parliamentary elections, the March 14 coalition, led by Saad Hariri, son of the slain former prime minister, retained its majority in Parliament by taking 71 of 128 seats. The Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition won 57 seats. After nearly five months of negotiations with the opposition Hariri finally assembled a 30-member government of national unity in November. His coalition received 15 cabinet posts, Hezbollah and its allies 10, and President Suleiman selected the remaining five.

Lebanon's government fell apart in January 2011, when Hezbollah's ministers resigned from the cabinet to protest Prime Minister Hariri's refusal to reject the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of his father, Rafik Hariri. The tribunal released a sealed indictment to a judge that is expected to include members of Hezbollah. In fact, Hezbollah said its members were included in the indictment, yet continued to deny responsibility for Hariri's murder. Two weeks after the government's collapse, Hezbollah won enough support in Parliament to form a new government with Najib Mikati, a billionaire businessman, as prime minister. Mikati, a Sunni and former prime minister, said even though he was backed by Hezbollah, he will govern as an independent. After five months of negotiations, Mikati assembled a cabinet in June, with 16 out of 30 seats going to Hezbollah and its allies. The main reason for the delay was the opposition's insistence that the government abide by the tribunal's recommendations; Hezbollah had refused to comply with them. The cabinet, however, agreed to cooperate with the tribunal as long as the country's stability was not at risk. Later in the month, the tribunal issued arrest warrants for four high-ranking members of Hezbollah in connection wtih the murder of Hariri and 21 others. Hezbollah refused to turn the suspects over to authorities.

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