Lebanon protesters seek to shut down key state institutions

International Desk
6 November 2019, Wed
Published: 09:41

Lebanon protesters seek to shut down key state institutions

Lebanese stage sit-ins at ministries, banks and state-affiliated companies in a bid to force ruling elite to step down. 

Lebanese demonstrators have begun surrounding government institutions in the capital, Beirut, and other cities, as a mass protest movement demanding an overhaul of the country's political system approaches its fourth week.

The move on Wednesday suggests a shift in the focus of protesters from blocking roads and setting up barricades to holding sit-ins at state-affiliated sites as they seek to maintain pressure on the political establishment until their demands for the departure of the ruling elite and an end to chronic economic mismanagement and corruption are met.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Beirut, said a group of protesters had arrived and gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice to call for accountability.

"They want to see the next step happening, which is the president announcing a date for consultations, for a new prime minister and a new government to be formed," she said.

Saad Hariri last week resigned as Lebanon's prime minister, satisfying one of the protesters' main demands, but President Michel Aoun's has yet to set a date - as he is obliged to - for formal consultations with legislators to pick a replacement.

Besides the justice ministry, other protest points where large sit-ins are expected on Wednesday include the ministries of energy, foreign affairs, finance, tourism, communication and labour, as well as the offices of Electricite Du Liban, the main Lebanese electricity provider.

Other state-affiliated institutions include Zaitunay Bay, a controversial marine development at the heart of Beirut's central area and telecommunication operators.

Simultaneously, a march to "reclaim coastal public property" is also planned, according to Lara Bitar, a media worker and organizer. Al Jazeera