Five cabinet ministers from Hezbollah and an allied party, resigned from the Lebanese cabinet on Saturday, making it difficult for the Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to govern the country. Even though the Western-backed Siniora’s government would still remain intact after the resignations, this move by Hezbollah could cost the government crucial support from the country’s Shiite Muslims. The decision on resignations came shortly after the talks on forming a national unity government failed. Hezbollah has been demanding one-third of the seats in the Lebanese parliament, for itself and its allies, which would empower them with veto power over key decisions of the government.

Hezbollah won 14 seats in the general election held in 2005 and took 27.3% of the 128 seats along with its allies. The Amal movement –Hezbollah alliance swept all the 23 seats in southern Lebanon during this election. Hezbollah’s political success serves as a role model for other Islamic parties in Middle East, like the Hamas and United Iraqi Alliance.

Mr. Siniora has rejected all the resignations and it is still unclear whether he could force the ministers to stay on, even though he has the power to do so. In a statement broadcasted by al-Manar television station, Hezbollah has accused the government for imposing terms, during the talks on forming a national unity government.

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