Analysis & Opinions

Lebanon has formed a controversial new government in a polarised, charged atmosphere, and protesters are not going to be easily pacified by its promises, explains Rami Khoury.

| Jan. 22, 2020
The fourth consecutive month of Lebanon's unprecedented political and economic crisis kicked off this week with three dramatic developments that will interplay in the coming months to define the country's direction for years to come: Escalating protests on the streets, heightened security measures by an increasingly militarising state, and now, a new cabinet of controversial so-called "independent technocrats" led by Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab.

Seeking to increase pressure on the political elite to act responsibly amid inaction vis-a-vis the slow collapse of the economy, the protesters had launched the fourth month of their protest movement, which had begun on 17 October last year, with a 'Week of Anger', stepping up their tactics and targeting banks and government institutions.

There was a step change in the tactics with violent clashes, outbreaks of small fires, and attacks on banks and government agencies.

Hundreds were injured, mostly protesters, but also some security personnel. Protesters openly called for the "downfall of the military state" and the "banker state" they blame for their economic and political misery.


Beyond the large nationwide demonstrations, new tactics have included almost daily smaller protests at government agencies or officials’ homes, targeted and temporary street blockings, crowds picketing police stations to release detainees, and shaming officials by hounding them out of restaurants, concerts, meetings, and other public events.   

About This Analysis & Opinions

Lebanon has formed a controversial new government in a polarised, charged atmosphere, and protesters are not going to be easily pacified by its promises, explains Rami Khoury.
For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Khouri, Rami.“Lebanon has formed a controversial new government in a polarised, charged atmosphere, and protesters are not going to be easily pacified by its promises, explains Rami Khoury..” , January 22, 2020.