Lebanon gov't wins confidence vote after bitter debate

July 7, 2011 21:50


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BEIRUT - The Hezbollah-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati won a vote of confidence on Thursday after a bitter parliamentary debate which is likely to set the tone for his premiership.

Opposition parliamentarians walked out ahead of the vote, handing Mikati victory with the backing of 68 members of the 128-seat chamber, after three days of sharp exchanges which almost brought speakers to blows.

The vote came a week after a UN-backed court issued an indictment and arrest warrants for four members of the Shi'ite militant Hezbollah over the 2005 killing of Sunni statesman Rafik al-Hariri, escalating sectarian tension in Lebanon.

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