World Lebanon protesters try to block confidence vote

13:30  11 february  2020
13:30  11 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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BEIRUT, Lebanon . Hundreds of demonstrators protested Saturday in front of the Parliament building here against the Hassan Diab government and a Another group gathered in front of the Association of Banks in Lebanon and protested its policy limiting foreign money transfer and withdrawing foreign

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Protesters on Tuesday stopped Parliament from convening to discuss a package of controversial laws that critics fear could provide amnesty for past corruption, as crowds blocked roads Last week, a soldier shot a man who was helping to block a road in the town of Khalde.

Protesters in Beirut tried to stop a confidence vote in parliament Tuesday on a new government they say fails to address their demands and cannot rescue Lebanon's ailing economy.

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Hundreds of demonstrators protested Saturday in front of the Parliament building here against the Hassan Diab government and a vote of confidence to Lebanon suffers from high unemployment, slow growth and one of the highest debt ratios in the world, with the debt burden reaching .2 billion

Protesters in Lebanon have blocked major roads for the first time in days after politicians failed to quell anti-government demonstrations. Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned last week, which was a key demand of the protesters , but President Michel Aoun has not yet started consulting parliamentary

Security forces used tear gas and water cannon to break up groups of demonstrators who hurled rocks over the blast walls erected around parliament.

The Red Cross reported 24 people had been hospitalised and 147 treated at the scene, even as the army called for the protests to remain peaceful.

Before the session started, protesters mobbed the tinted-glass vehicles of lawmakers and lobbed water bottles at them in a bid to stop them reaching parliament for the vote.

Demonstrators draped in Lebanese flags and chanting "no confidence" had started gathering before dawn at various points around the capital in a bid to dodge police checkpoints.

Some lawmakers spent the night in parliament to thwart protesters who have successfully prevented several sessions since they launched their campaign in October last year.

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Breaking news headlines about Lebanon Protests linking to 1,000s of websites from around the world. Lebanon cabinet approves financial rescue plan, parliament to vote on the new govt next … Protesters disrupt Lebanon MP’s dinner two nights in a row Middle East Monitor15:08 6-Feb-20.

Hundreds of protesters tried to seal off the police station, too, and then tried to block representatives of several political parties 2, "We will shut down the entire country and no one will vote ." Yingluck insists the polls will take place. Her party signaled its confidence in a victory by placing her at the top

"I'm here to say 'no confidence' in the government because the way it was formed shows that it cannot be trusted," said one protester who gave her name as Carole.

Hassan Diab, a little-known academic and former education minister, was tasked with forming a government in December after Saad Hariri was forced to resign from his post as prime minister by pressure from the street.

The unprecedented cross-sectarian protest movement has pushed for the wholesale removal of a hereditary political elite seen as corrupt and incompetent.

- 'People have no confidence' -

While Diab vowed to carry the hopes of the protesters, portfolios in his government were shared out through the same partisan and sectarian gamesmanship that has been the trademark of Lebanon's political class for decades.

Christopher, 26, watched from a distance as water cannon projected cold jets at protesters trying to scale the perimeter blast wall.

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Lebanese protesters wave flags and shout anti-corruption slogans outside the parliament during a protest in downtown Beirut on 21 January (AFP). Distrust of the ruling class. On Tuesday, the newly formed government's vote of confidence will take place amid a continued crackdown on protesters .

Protesters have blocked roads across the country for days. People from all sects and walks of life have flooded The protests , ignited in part by a government plan to tax WhatsApp calls, have swept Lebanon at a time of It has declared an economic emergency to try to get its finances under control.

"We are here to reject Diab's government and to say that the Lebanese people have no confidence in it -- even if lawmakers vote to support it," he said.

He said that, even if the new ministers appeared to be qualified, they still depended on "the parties that destroyed the country".

Demonstrators had travelled to Beirut from as far as Sidon, Tripoli and Tyre.

If approved by parliament, the new government will face one of the worst crises in the county's recent history.

Besides the biggest popular challenge to the power-sharing system that emerged from the 1975-1990 civil war, the country faces its worst economic crisis in decades.

Lebanon is on the brink of defaulting on its debt and the impact is being felt by all social classes, with tough restrictions on cash withdrawals and a de-facto devaluation of the national currency.

One placard seen at Tuesday's protest quipped: "Of course we are confident –- that they will help the banks to the detriment of the people."

The World Bank has warned that if no solution is found swiftly to the crisis, the poverty rate may shoot up from a third to half of the population.

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