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Lebanon: Eleven Cabinet Members Resign, Toppling Government

The fifth anniversary of the assassination of Rafik Hariri

One year ago, at a rally on the 5th anniversary of Rafiq Hariri's death in Lebanon. Photo by Deen Sharp © Demotix (14/02/10)

More big news from the Arab world this evening as Lebanon's government has reportedly collapsed, following the resignations of 11 cabinet members.  The cabinet members, all members or allies of Hezbollah, resigned over arguments stemming from a UN probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, Al Jazeera reported.

Bloggers and Twitter users picked up on the news quickly, announcing it just after the first news reports from inside Lebanon broke.  Al Jazeera correspondent Dima Khatib (@dima_khatib) Tweeted around 6pm Beirut time:

Lebanese government is officially down, lost legal quorom, while PM Hariri is at White House with Obama. #Lebanon

Shortly after Dima's Tweet, Chan Bhatia of Chicks Gone Tech blogged:

[Updated at 11:13 a.m.] [ed note: EST] Lebanon's unity government collapsed Wednesday after Minister of State Adnan Sayyed Hussein turned in his resignation, the 11th Cabinet member to do so.

It didn't take long for Lebanese “tweeps” to start sharing their thoughts and opinions on Twitter. @LebaneseVoices remarked in two Tweets:

government or no government, we still have no infrastructure #Lebanon

government or no government, we still have repetitive violations of israeli planes in our skies. #Lebanon

@Emile_Hokayem commented on the perception of the resignations:

Opposition ministers chose to resign while PM Hariri is in Washington. Using his absence to say he does not care about Lebanon.

Some on Twitter, like @LSal92, took a more cynical approach in light of Lebanon's recent history, Tweeting:

So are we without a government again? What's new? #Lebanon

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