Here are the key political parties and people in Lebanon's tenuous political situation:
General Michel Aoun
Leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, a Maronite Christian, now allied with Hezbollah. Past prime minister and president of Lebanon during the civil war.
Secretary General of the Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, a political organization with a militant wing based in Lebanon. A popular political figure in Lebanon and the Arab world, Nasrallah is a driving force behind Hezbollah's ongoing military and political operations.
Shi’ite Muslim political group supported by Iran and Syria. Islamist government patterned after Iran, rejecting compromise with US, Israel and Lebanese Christians. Designated as a terrorist organization by the US and Israel.
March 14 Alliance
A collection of nationalist parties opposed to Syrian involvement in Lebanon.
March 8 Alliance
Assorted opposition parties, including Hezbollah.
Elected president in May, 2008. Maronite and former head of Lebanon’s army.
Billionaire businessman, Hezbollah's choice as prime minister, and newly-selected for the job. He had held the post for a short time in 2005.
Parliament speaker, Shi’ite and the head of Amal Movement since 1980.
Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, 1992 to 1998 and from 2000 until he resigned in 2004. Billionaire tycoon who helped rebuild the devastated country after a 15-year civil war. Opposed Syrian military presence in Lebanon. Killed in a 2005 suicide bombing. Special UN Tribunal has been investigating his death and will likely blame Hezbollah.
Son of former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. Prime Minister from 2009 until January 2011. A Western-backed Sunni and member of March 14th Alliance, he backs the UN Tribunal, despite opposition from Hezbollah allies.
Leader of Lebanon’s 200,000 Druze; once strongly supported the Tribunal, but in early 2011 swung his support behind Syria and Hezbollah.