Lebanon Risks More Lost Decades If Protesters’ Demands Aren’t Met

Anti-government demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at riot police on a road leading to the parliament building during a protest in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 11, 2020 (AP photo by Bilal Hussein).
Anti-government demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at riot police on a road leading to the parliament building during a protest in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 11, 2020 (AP photo by Bilal Hussein).
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After four months of widespread protests, Lebanon has a new government. Voted in by a slight majority in parliament in late January, it must deal with the gargantuan task of an economic meltdown of historic proportions, and of assuaging countrywide protesters questioning the legitimacy of the entrenched political elite. Lebanon’s economy, and with it perhaps its long-term political fortunes, are at stake. Since October, protesters across Lebanon, disillusioned with the gross political and economic mismanagement of successive governments, have demanded sweeping reforms. They have put the blame squarely on elites who draw their influence from Lebanon’s dysfunctional power-sharing system. This […]

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