Protests Erupt as Hezbollah Picks Lebanese PM

Najib MIqati to form new government
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2011 5:42 AM CST
Posters of lawmaker Nagib Mikati are seen on a building in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hezbollah's chosen candidate has won enough support to be appointed as Lebanon's new prime minister, sparking angry protests across the country and warnings of chaos to come. The government Najib Miqati forms may end up strongly resembling previous governments, but the symbolism of Hezbollah, once a shadowy militant group, picking the country's prime minister is vast, the New York Times notes.

"It will not be easy for them to control Lebanon alone,” a Christian lawmaker warned. “They will turn it into an isolated country, ostracized by the Arab world and the international community.” The decisive vote for the Shia group came from a politician who said he had little choice but to deal with "the reality on the ground." Opponents declared today a "day of rage" and protests turned violent in some areas, with vehicles belonging to media outlets attacked in Sunni-dominated areas.

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