BEIRUT Hundreds of Lebanese protested in the capital Beirut on Sunday against the country's sectarian political system.
Emulating protests that have spread across the Arab world in recent weeks, some Lebanese protesters chanted the now-familiar refrain of "The people want to bring down the regime".
Lebanon is governed by a delicate power-sharing system to maintain the balance between the country's many sects. It is unlike many other Arab countries where protests have been against rulers who have governed for decades.
"We are here to bring down the sectarian system in Lebanon because it is more of a dictatorial system than dictatorship systems themselves," said protester Rahshan Saglam.
Lebanon suffered a 15-year civil war which ended in 1990 and killed 150,000 people. Major sectarian violence, threatening to tip the country into a new civil war, also broke out in 2008.
The organisers handed out a leaflet saying they demanded a "secular, civil, democratic, socially just and equal state" and called for an increase in the minimum wage and lower prices for basic goods.
A Facebook page about the event showed 2,656 people due to attend the protest but only a few hundred showed up and marched along a route that was a frontline during the civil war.
Lebanon has been without a government since Shi'ite group Hezbollah and its allies toppled the government last month in a dispute over a U.N. backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik al-Hariri.
Popular uprisings have unseated the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Libya is the latest Arab country to witness major unrest. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in power for four decades, appeared to be losing ground after more than a week of protests.
(Editing by Elizabeth Piper)
Trending On Reuters
In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China's claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose "terrible" costs to Beijing's international reputation if flouted the court's decision. Full Article
- Obama urges Americans to get behind Clinton, slams Trump
- British-Bangladeshi survivor of cafe attack held at unknown location - lawyer
- Turkey dismisses military, shuts media outlets as crackdown deepens
- Lack of exercise costs world $67.5 billion and five million lives a year
- Trump draws ire after urging Russia to find 'missing' Clinton emails