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Protests Grow Amid Political Gridlock In Lebanon

Hundreds of Lebanese continue to stage protests against deteriorating economic conditions as politicians remain deadlocked over forming a new government seven months after elections. Demonstrators descended on central Beirut, marching to government buildings while holding placards calling for an end to the stalemate and widespread corruption. Some protesters wore yellow industrial vests, mimicking those of anti-government demonstrators in France. Others chanted the slogan, “the people want to bring down the regime,” which is reminiscent of the 2011 so-called Arab Spring uprisings that ousted dictators throughout the region. A deal on a new government led by Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri looked close last week when headway was made towards resolving the final major hurdle surrounding Sunni Muslim representation in the cabinet. One of the reported sticking points remains the insistence by Shiite Hizbullah—which made major gains in May’s vote—that control over the Health Ministry be given to one of the terror group’s Sunni allies, a move Hariri opposes.