Lebanon’s Hezbollah boycotts cabinet meeting

Lebanon’s Hezbollah and its Christian allies boycott government’s cabinet meeting on Thursday

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam heads a cabinet meeting at the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon August 27, 2015.

Updated Aug 28, 2015

The Lebanese Iranian-backed group Hezbollah and allied Christian politicians boycotted the awaited cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam had said the meeting is very important in bringing about a feasible solution to the Lebanese crises. Incomplete cabinet meetings may deepen the political crisis, hindering Salam's national unity government’s ability to contain the situation.

Beirut-based garbage disposal campaign "You Stink", held two large rallies over the last weekend because of uncollected garbage, displaying long-simmering anger towards the Lebanese government which they view as incompetent and accuse it of political corruption.

“You Stink” protesters criticised the government and demanded for it to resign. They chanted the famous Arab Spring slogan “The people want to bring down the regime."

Lebanese activists blame all factions indiscriminately for the crises, excluding no one.

Lebanon's cabinet held an emergency meeting on Tuesday, at the heavily guarded Serail palace in the capital, regarding the sweeping protests in Beirut, which are demanding an instant solution to the garbage disposal crises, and the resignation of the country’s government.

Large concrete walls were erected around the Serail palace to protect government personnel, however Lebanese protesters and activists filled it with anti-government graffiti shortly after.

Ministers from Hezbollah and Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) walked out of Tuesday’s cabinet session. They are in dispute with the government over decrees passed without their approval.

Media run by Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, of politician Michel Aoun, the Shiite group's main Christian ally, reported that Salam had been informed of the decision, but did not immediately give a reason for it.

The presidency has been vacant for over a year and the government has struggled to make even the most basic decisions.

Behind the Lebanese deadlock is the conflict of interest between the two halves comprising the political atmosphere in Beirut. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies including Christian politician Michel Aoun, and the Saudi-backed mainly Sunni pro-Western Future Movement led by politician Saad al-Hariri and his allies. Both parties disagree on a wide spectrum of Middle Eastern issues, mainly the Syrian civil war that started in 2011.



TRTWorld and agencies