• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • The protests erupted on Oct. 17 when a series of proposed tax hikes led hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to take the streets.

    The protests erupted on Oct. 17 when a series of proposed tax hikes led hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to take the streets. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 November 2019

“This is a new victory for the revolution and we are continuing until we achieve our goals,” said protester Abdelrazek Hamoud.

Protesters prevented Tuesday Lebanon’s parliament’s attempt of holding its first session since the beginning of mass protests two months ago, intensifying thus the demonstrations against a ruling class accused of leading the country to the brink of social and economic collapse.

RELATED: 

Lebanon's Safadi Withdraws Candidacy for PM

Security forces were heavily deployed before dawn to shut down roads leading to the parliament with barbed wire. They scuffled with protesters who tried to remove the barricades.

Video footage circulating online showed dozens of protesters forcing two SUVs vehicles with official plates to turn back as they were approaching the building. Repeated gunfire was heard as the convoys moved away.

The session was postponed and the parliament invoked a lack of quorum.

“This is a new victory for the revolution and we are continuing until we achieve our goals,” said protester Abdelrazek Hamoud.

Hundreds of protesters danced, sang, waved flags and beat pots as fireworks were lit off in Beirut’s Nejmeh Square to celebrate the postponement. 

The session’s program had included the reelection of members of parliamentary committees and the discussion of an amnesty law that would lead to the release of hundreds of detainees. But protesters are resisting any attempt to MPs’ meeting up, until their demands including the recovery of stolen funds and holding the corrupt accountable, as well as fair tax and financial procedures, are met.

The protests erupted on Oct. 17 when a series of proposed tax hikes led hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to take the streets. People have since been denouncing rampant corruption among the elite and political class who ruled the country for decades, urging all the current politicians to leave power and be replaced by technocrats.

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who is aligned with Western and Gulf Arab states, quit on Oct. 29, however, politicians have proved unable to form a new national government, while the country’s economic troubles increased to the worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

Grounded in years of waste and corruption by the successive governments, the economic crisis has now filtered into the financial system which faces dollar shortages and a weakening of the pegged pound. Banks had mostly been closed since the protests started.

Caretaker finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil said Lebanon was in “a critical condition” requiring a new government. But in the last few days, he said there had been “no real new effort” towards forming one.

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.