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Hezbollah's clout in Cabinet grows

August 13, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The Lebanese parliament overwhelmingly approved a national unity Cabinet that gives Iranian-backed Hezbollah a more powerful say in how the country is run.

The Cabinet joins Hezbollah and its allies with supporters of Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. For nearly two years, Siniora's government had rejected the militant group's demands for veto power in the Cabinet but compromised after a wave of violence between rival factions in May.

Hezbollah and its allies have 11 of 30 seats in the Cabinet. The accord reached in May gave the faction veto power over major decisions and the right to keep their weapons.

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