Wave of Protests Return to Lebanon Amid Failure to Form New Cabinet

Published January 13th, 2020 - 12:08 GMT
Lebanese demonstrators march during a demonstration in downtown Beirut on January 11, 2020. Hundreds protested across Lebanon to denounce a crippling economic crisis and the political deadlock that has left the country without a government for over two months. Chanting anti-government slogans in the capital Beirut, the northern city of Tripoli and the southern city of Nabatieh, they also denounced a class of political leaders they deem incompetent and corrupt. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Lebanese demonstrators march during a demonstration in downtown Beirut on January 11, 2020. Hundreds protested across Lebanon to denounce a crippling economic crisis and the political deadlock that has left the country without a government for over two months. Chanting anti-government slogans in the capital Beirut, the northern city of Tripoli and the southern city of Nabatieh, they also denounced a class of political leaders they deem incompetent and corrupt. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Highlights
“The expulsion of some officials from public places is an indicator, so are movements in front of official institutions and banks,” he said.

The wave of demonstrations returned to a number of Lebanese regions, amid the persistent failure of the political class to form a new government and face the worsening economic crisis.

However, the popular movement’s vision for the next stage is still unclear.
 
The dynamism of the movement that started on October 17 has suffered more than a setback, which requires, according to one of the activists, “correcting its tracks.”

This would renew popular movements and put Lebanon on the path of confronting collapse with steady steps, according to the activist.


 
University Professor Dr. Walid Fakhreddin said that the renewed demonstrations were not surprising given that the country is still in a state of alert.

“The expulsion of some officials from public places is an indicator, so are movements in front of official institutions and banks,” he said.
 
“The most important reason remains the deteriorating economic situation, with the crises of gas, diesel and electricity, the tightening of banks’ grip on depositor funds and the spread of unemployment, along with the delay in forming the government,” he underlined.
 
Fakhreddin does not rule out the influence of regional developments, noting that demonstrations in Baghdad helped motivate Lebanese protesters to regain some of the momentum that had been missed during the holidays and because of the stormy weather.
 
Another activist said that protests have not stopped since October, although at a lower participation rate.

“This is because the Lebanese people see a glimmer of hope with the designation of Hassan Diab to form the new government,” he remarked.
 
But with the constant failure of the political class to form a government, the aggravation of the problems, increased banking restrictions on depositors, and the shortage of medicine, electricity and fuel, the Lebanese returned to the street over the past few days.
 
“Today, the Lebanese took to the streets with greater anger, after being disappointed by the grace period that they gave to the political class,” the activist said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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