Lebanon's President Rashid Solh resigned on Thursday (15 May). He told Parliament he blamed the?
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SV Speaker El Assad takes seat as other members prepare for debate (4 shots)
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Background: Lebanon's President Rashid Solh resigned on Thursday (15 May). He told Parliament he blamed the right-wing Falangist Party for last month's clashes between Palestinian commandos and right-wingers, in which some 140 people died and scores were injured.
He said the trouble started when the Falangists fired on a bus in the Beirut suburbs, killing 27 Palestinians and sparking off five days of heavy fighting in the capital.
The Falangists said that undisciplined commandos were to blame for starting the fighting. Right-wing Deputies reacted violently to Mr. Solh's statement.
Over half the Ministers in Mr. Solh's 18-man Cabinet had earlier resigned after widespread criticism of the Government's handling of the fighting last month in the capital.
Now, Lebanon's President Suleiman Franjieh faces the daunting task of finding a new Premier following the end of Mr. Solh's 196 shaky days in power.
The balance between Lebanon's many political and religious communities is so delicate that Governments have rarely lasted more than a year. And the next Government will face a severe challenge to do better than Mr. Solh and his colleagues.
According to the country's unwritten constitution, the President is always a Maronite Christian and the Premier a Sunni Moslem.