Lebanon government wins ‘vote of confidence’

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

By an overwhelming 109-1 margin, the Lebanese government won a vote of confidence in parliament Wednesday, coming just a day after what was touted as the “full and final” Syrian occupation withdrawal.

The confidence vote, ushered in by the new Prime Minister Najib Mikati, is a step which allows for May elections called for by constitutional law and demanded by anti-Syrian opposition groups.

Speaking to parliament, Mikati said, "We will not hesitate to carry out this constitutional requirement on time," according to the AP.

The next step for Mikati and government leaders is to draft new election laws. Lebanese President Lahoud said he was discussing among their leadership the possibility of asking for U.N. technical assistance in drafting the laws. A completed draft would be presented to parliament for passage in an approval process.

Under domestic and foreign pressures, Mr. Mikati has so far shown he is capable of helping move the Lebanese political process forward.

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