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Regardless of who emerges as the biggest winner and the biggest loser from the country's first parliamentary elections in nine years, after the May vote, Lebanon is poised to face three major problems that could shake its political stability and jeopardize party alliances. These main challenges are: the formation of a new government following the elections; the election of a Parliament speaker; and President Michel Aoun's call for a national defense strategy designed to protect Lebanon against any possible Israeli attack. Politicians agree that the FPM-Hezbollah alliance will face its toughest challenge yet over Aoun's call for a national defense strategy to be discussed by rival parties after the elections.Nevertheless, last month Nasrallah said his party was ready to discuss a national defense strategy in line with Aoun's call, but suggested that the president had not coordinated his move with Hezbollah and that the party was surprised by the president's move.Hariri and his Future Movement, outspoken critics of Hezbollah's arms, have expressed support for Aoun's drive for a national defense strategy that would eventually put the use of arms solely in the hands of the Lebanese Army.
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Aoun denies U-turn on defense; Hariri vows ‘hard work’
Leaders stress need for prompt reforms as pressure mounts
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