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Lebanon's government resigns

By CNN Staff
March 22, 2013 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)

(CNN) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced the resignation of his government Friday amid what his spokesman said were disputes among his cabinet over preparations for parliamentary elections and the future of a top Lebanon security official.

Mikati, who led a coalition government for the last two years, made the announcement live on Lebanese TV.

His press officer, Fares Gemayyel, said the cabinet failed to form -- and did not show any inclination toward forming -- a constitutionally mandated committee to supervise approaching parliamentary elections.

"The prime minister cannot work in such conditions. He needs to respect the constitution," Gemayyel said.

Mikati's decision also was prompted by a dispute over whether to extend the term of Ashraf Rifi, the chief of Lebanon's internal security forces, Gemayyel said.

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoon and Hamdi Alkhshali and journalist Jo Hayek contributed to this report.

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