Anti-government protests in Lebanon began three weeks ago and the Lebanese protesters continue to hit the streets. Today they have organized sit-ins around ministries, banks and state-affiliated companies, in a symbolic attempt to make the government elites step down.
In fact, the national protest that has held Lebanon has proven to be a revolution against the sectarian, inefficient, and corrupt elite that have ruled the country since 2005, when the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri paralysed state institutions and the economy. Since then, Lebanon has survived without basic necessities that should be provided by public services such as electricity, access to drinking water, accessible public spaces, or a fair judiciary.
Moreover, protesters are putting all the pressure they can around the power symbols of Lebanon, in order to demand a drastic change of the political system . In particular, they are accusing the elites of corruption, who have held authority for years without changing the political system for the better, making it work only for them.
This misconduct has let to the chronic economic mismanagement and corruption which have affected the people. The first result from their demands has come last week, when the previous prime minister Saad Hariri resigned to give a “positive shock“ to the country.
Now, president Michel Aoun will be obliged to set a consultation in order to identify someone to replace him. Furthermore, what the Lebanese people are calling for is the establishment of a new cabinet of technocrats who may be able to save them from the financial crisis, secure basic services and create a new non-sectarian electoral law.
On the positive side, the resignation without agreement led by Saad Hariri will oblige the president Michel Aoun to form a new government, even if he was against any kind of change. On the other hand, the impossibility of creating a new government would probably cause a new stand-still.