Lebanon Names New Cabinet Amidst Ongoing Protests

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, speaks during a press conference after his government was announced, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new Cabinet was announced in crisis-hit Lebanon late Tuesday, breaking a months-long impasse amid ongoing mass protests against the country’s ruling elite. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

On Tuesday, with the confidence vote looming in Parliament, the rubble of protest littered the streets of Lebanon.

After months of protest, of demands to remove the government and start anew, it seemed like the nomination of Prime Minister Hassan Diab and a new Cabinet would be a step in the right direction.  However, Nuna of Triumphant Mercy-Lebanon says, “There are many protests on the street. Many people don’t want this Cabinet, this new government, so it’s a bit violent.”

Protests continue in Lebanon

Diab’s religious affiliations displeased enough that more rocks and attacks greeted Parliament members as they arrived for the vote of confidence. Demonstrators maintained their calls for a different government.   However, Nuna wonders if the demonstrators’ demands are feasible. “This is my point of view; if we want a technocrat government, which is far from politics, I agree with that, but at the same time, Lebanon is such a religious country, everything in Lebanon goes with religion.”

She points out the power-sharing aspect of their government structure. “You have people who are Christian or Sunni or Shiites; they need to be in certain positions because of the Constitution. So unless we change the Constitution, this is how it should be.  Even a technocrat person needs to be following some religious affiliation.”

When asked if the unreasonable demands connect to frustration over the economic crisis, Nuna said, “People don’t have any more resources. We have so many people who have been laid off work.  Companies that want to keep their heads (above) water, they’re trying to cut salaries in half. Many people are going through very hard economic crisis. The bank situation is even harder, and people are not able to get money out of the bank.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama