Protests Paralyze Lebanon’s Search for New Prime Minister
An increase in Lebanon’s protests has proved detrimental to the country’s search for a new prime minister as political gridlock promotes economic crisis. On Monday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun postponed a series of meeting with parliament members who were likely to elect Saad Hariri as the new prime minister, despite his previous resignation in October due to growing protests. After Lebanon’s ruling parties failed to find an alternative candidate, Hariri re-entered the political stage.
Clashes between law enforcement and protesters escalated over the weekend, ultimately becoming the most violent clashes over the past two months after the demonstrations commenced in October. Dozens of protesters were injured after security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowds near Parliament Square. While protesters call for a complete overhaul of Lebanon’s political system, its political elite have been reluctant to make concessions that potentially sacrifice privileges that have been held for decades.