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The New Arab

Lebanese protesters demand end to political deadlock

Lebanon has been in political deadlock since its first parliamentary elections in nine years [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 December, 2018

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Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Beirut to an end to the political deadlock that has seen Lebanon unable to form a government since May.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, on Sunday to protest against a political stalemate that has prevented the formation of a new government seven months after elections.

The demonstration was organised by the Communist Party, but drew others frustrated by the country's deepening political and economic crisis.

Wearing red scarves and raising red flags, protesters complained about corruption, poor public services and spiraling public debt that is more than 150 percent of GDP.

One banner reads: "Off to the streets: enough talk."

Protester Osama Assad said failure to form the government only "doubles the risks." Hanna Gharib, of the Communist Party, said the protests would escalate.

Lebanon's political factions are deeply divided over the war in neighboring Syria and other issues.

Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in nine years in May, however has been unable to form a government ever since.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who was assigned to form a government in May, says conflict over ministerial shares have stalled the process.

On 24 May, after parliamentary elections, Aoun quickly nominated Hariri for his third term as prime minister and tasked him with forming a cabinet.

Key parties have jostled over ministries since the vote, with officials and foreign donors warning that a delay would aggravate the country's economic troubles.

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