The power-sharing Government was 14 months old and had taken five months to form. It consisted of 30 ministers, with the provision that the resignation of a third would bring it to a halt. Yesterday afternoon, 10 ministers allied to Hezbollah handed in their resignation after demanding that current Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri call a Cabinet meeting to discuss the tribunal or face the consequences. Independent Shia MP Adnan Hussein followed suit shortly afterwards, dissolving Hariri’s government at around 17.00 Beirut time.
Premier Hariri was at the time in New York meeting President Obama. It is likely that the resignations were timed to coincide with the meeting and cause optimum embarrassment to Hariri, leaving the most powerful man in the world in a meeting with an ex-Prime Minister.