Lebanon government powerless as protesters escalate campaign

Lebanon government powerless as protesters escalate campaign
# 03 September 2015 02:18 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Lebanon's divided government appeared powerless Wednesday to address a growing protest campaign that began with frustration over rubbish collection and ballooned into anger at a stagnant and corrupt political class, APA reports quoting AFP.

On Tuesday night, the situation turned briefly violent when police ejected several dozen protesters from the "You Stink" campaign who had occupied part of the environment ministry to press the minister to resign.

In a sign of the ongoing impotence of the political class, parliament failed Wednesday for the 28th time to elect a new president.

The post has been empty since May 2014, and the legislature is so politically divided that every attempt to fill the job has failed.

This paralysis has increasingly become the target of "You Stink," which is not only demanding that Environment Minister Mohamed Mashnuq step down, but also insisting on new parliamentary elections and accountability for violence against protesters.

On Wednesday, dozens were seen gathering to demonstrate near the prime minister's serail in central Beirut, which security forces had reinforced with a thick cement barrier.

The call to protest came from "We Want Accountability," another civil society group that is demanding an end to corruption.

Organiser Neemat Badraddine, who had taken part in the sit-in the previous day, pledged demonstrations would continue at public institutions "which are the property of the Lebanese people".

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