Naharnet

Protest Outside Finance Ministry over Salaries of MPs

Civil society activists held a protest near the finance ministry in Beirut on Tuesday to stop the transfer of the salaries of lawmakers whom they accuse of being corrupt.

Police immediately deployed in the area to stop the protesters from entering the building similar to when demonstrators stormed the environment ministry earlier this month to demand the minister's resignation.

The activists from “We Want Accountability” and "Go Away" also protested when two of the movement's members were unable to leave the building after police blocked the entrance.

Beirut police chief Brig. Bassam al-Ayyoubi was quick to arrive to the scene of the protest.

He accused the activists of trying to storm the ministry but said security forces stopped them form entering the building.

“We had to resort to the streets to hold MPs accountable. They are not doing their job,” said one demonstrator.

“Our protest is peaceful,” he added.

"Our presence here is symbolic,” said another protester. "We will continue to hold similar protests. Our path is long."

Later, an activist read a statement saying the people are paying taxes but the authorities are spending the money on a parliament that is not functioning.

“We Want Accountability” said the finance ministry is making transfers at the expense of the poor people.

“We call for stopping the transfer of the salaries of the lawmakers,” said the statement read by the activist.

“There should be a fair electoral law based on proportionality that considers Lebanon a single district,” she added.

Civil society has been holding protests since the trash crisis erupted in July following the closure of the Naameh landfill that received waste from Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

The demonstrations grew into a popular uprising against the political class that has dominated Lebanon since its civil war ended in 1990.


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