Protesters force postponement of Lebanese parliament session

20 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Protesters force postponement of Lebanese parliament session

Lebanese protesters flee from security forces on their way back after having cut through the security barrier leading to the government palace at Riad al-Solh square in the capital Beirut’s downtown district on Tuesday. —AFP PHOTO

BEIRUT: Thousands of protesters rallying against the Lebanese political elite blocked roads in central Beirut on Tuesday, preventing lawmakers from reaching the parliament and forcing the postponement of a legislative session, reports AP.

The session had been scheduled even though the country is still without a Cabinet following the prime minister’s resignation amid unprecedented demonstrations that have gripped Lebanon since mid-October.

The protesters scuffled with riot police as they closed all roads leading to the parliament building in Beirut.

When one legislator headed toward the building and could not reach it and turned back, his bodyguards opened fire in the air to clear the way. No one was hurt in the shooting.

The protesters are questioning the constitutionality of a parliament session in the absence of a government. An earlier session last Tuesday was postponed amid the protests.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned his government on Oct. 29 in response to the protests, which erupted over proposed new taxes but have since snowballed into calls for the government to resign and for the entire political elite that has ruled Lebanon since the end of its 1975-90 civil war to step aside.