Civil Society Activists Carry Coffins after Parliament 'Buries Democracy'

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  • W460
  • W460
  • W460
  • W460

The Civil Campaign for Electoral Reform on Friday staged a sit-in at Beirut's Riad al-Solh Square as a parliament session to vote on the extension of the legislature's term got underway.

Protesters formed a human chain to prevent MPs from reaching the parliament and hurled tomatoes at their cars, condemning the extension.

They also carried three empty coffins in a symbolic scene lamenting the “burial of democracy.”

Protesters wore black clothes “to mourn democracy and freedom,” stressing in a statement that “extending for this authority will extend all the crises Lebanon is going through.”

Meanwhile, other activists took to Facebook and Twitter to slam the move and mock the lawmakers.

“Extension in this manner and speed reminds us of the appointment of cabinets and presidents during the Syrian era,” said an activist.

“Ninety-seven dogs voted for the extension of the council of dogs in a session that lasted 10 minutes! All these dogs do not represent me,” said another activist.

LBCI television said activist Marwan Maalouf was arrested while attempting to set up a tent in Nejmeh Square to protest the extension of the parliament's term.

The parliament on Friday voted to extend its own mandate for 17 months after the rival political parties failed to reach a new electoral law.

Around 100 MPs from all blocs, except the Change and Reform bloc, voted to extend parliament's term until November 20, 2014, in a session that lasted only 10 minutes.

The motion to extend the normal four-year term was due to "the security situation in several Lebanese regions that gives rise to political escalation and division which often take on confessional forms."

Comments 5
Thumb lebanon_first 31 May 2013, 17:43

The police arrested an activist for trying to set up a tent to protest for democracy. But if the "pilgrims" families attack the Turkish interests, no reaction from police. If sounthern suburbers burn tires, no reaction from police. The iron hand of the law applies only on non thugs.

Thumb Senescence 31 May 2013, 18:39

Good going boys, keep fighting the good fight !

Missing helicopter 31 May 2013, 19:07

This is an opportunity for the Lebanon lovers from both camps to unite and present a unified front against autocracy and corruption from either side. Carry the Lebanese flag and take over the streets as was done in 2005 (this time against MP hegemony and trampling of the constitution). 30 years of Syrian occupation has turned us into zombies.

Thumb primesuspect 31 May 2013, 20:11

Why 17 months? Why not 18 or 24? It's a hijack of democracy.... People should take the streets like they did for the cedar revolucion.

Thumb eli-g 01 June 2013, 01:38

Keep up the good work. I salute all that were in the square.
I would have been there if I was in Lebanon.
Did they realy pelt them with tomatoes?LOOOOOOOOOOOOL