Lebanon protesters block highway as economic crisis hits

Opposition say economy is in crisis and say national unity government needs to tackle the issue

Lebanese protesters have blocked a major road linking the capital Beirut to the south of the country, in an escalation of the country’s economic crisis and political impasse.

Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled stones in the northern suburbs as loyalists tried to march on the town of Tal, close to the Lebanese-Syrian border, to prevent a planned parliamentary session.

“Lebanon is in crisis,” read one banner, held in demonstration against the power-sharing system that allows the former prime minister Saad Hariri to be prime minister but results in the presidency rotating among the parties on a rotating basis.

Opposition leaders said the economy was in crisis and urged the national unity government, which has been meeting to discuss a new electoral law, to tackle the issue.

“We are here to prove that the country does not need a government of technocrats,” said Kefaya al-Hamadee, an activist and part of the National Struggle Front (NDF) movement.

“The government must act against the economic crisis that is continuing with no solution,” she told Reuters. “It is failing to work on economic reform.”

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