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The Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah will not give way in a dispute over Sunni Muslim representation in a new unity government, the pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday, signalling no quick end to the standoff.
Separately, a senior political source close to Hezbollah told Reuters it was up to President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian, to resolve the problem because neither Hezbollah nor Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri could give ground.Six months since a parliamentary election, the row over Sunni representation is seen as the final hurdle to the formation of a new government. Posts in the 30-seat cabinet are parcelled out along sectarian lines.
Lebanon is in dire need of a government able to make economic reforms that are seen as more pressing than ever. The country is wrestling with the world's third largest public debt as a proportion of the economy and stagnant growth.
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