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Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:33 GMT

Lebanese Resume Protests Seeking End to Political Vacuum


7Dnews London

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:55 GMT

Lebanese protesters took to the streets once again on Tuesday, January 14th, to demand an end to the months-long political vacuum, according to AFP.

Although the number of protesters has decreased over the past weeks, they said that this time they are calling their protests the ‘week of wrath’, which has involved dozens of protesters blocking key highways in and around Beirut, using overturned rubbish bins and burning tyres.

Also, in a televised speech on Tuesday, Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said "obstacles" were the cause that had prevented a new government being formed last week.

In addition, he highlighted that Lebanon was currently reaping the consequence of 30 years of the wrong financial policies.

Since October 2019, demonstrations have been continuous, and mainly directed at banks and state institutions for being the reasons behind the country going bankrupt.

The economic crisis that hit Lebanon was the worst since the country’s civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990.

Since former prime minister Saad al-Hariri resigned on October 29th, 2019, the country has been without a government, a situation which caused matters to worsen as political parties failed to agree on forming a new one.

In the same televised interview on Tuesday, Aoun admitted that the delay in forming a new cabinet was due to the need for time in order to find suitable candidates.

"What is needed is a government with a specific speedy programme to address the pressing economic and financial crisis," he told foreign envoys, according to AFP.

"The formation of this government demands choosing competent individuals who deserve the trust of the people and parliament, which takes time," he said.

A lot of Lebanese people have lost their jobs or received salary cuts in recent months.In addition, the value of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar has fallen by almost half on the foreign exchange market.

Laila Youssef, 47, a mother of three, said she was taking part in the protests to urge politicians to wake up.

"We've gone back to closing down roads because we can't stand it anymore...what we earn today is not enough to buy the basics for home," she told AFP.

Middle East