Anti-government protesters tried to block roads leading to the Lebanese parliament on Monday in a bid to prevent lawmakers from reaching a session to discuss and endorse the draft budget for 2020.
Lebanese army and anti-riot police prevented protesters from approaching any road leading to downtown Beirut, where the parliament building is located.
Recently, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, supported by the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and its main ally President Michel Aoun, formed a 20-member cabinet.
“We do not accept such a government and it does not represent us,’’ one protester told a local television channel.
Lebanon has been hit by protests since Oct. 17, leading to the resignation of Saad Hariri as prime minister almost two weeks later.
Over the weekend, large concrete walls were erected near the entrances to the parliament and roads leading to the government palace, where the prime minister has his office.
According to the Lebanese English language daily Star, lawmaker Ibrahim Kanaan said the draft budget would include “a deficit of 7 per cent of gross domestic product, far larger than the 0.6 per cent originally planned.”
The country has one of the biggest public debt ratios in the world, equivalent to about 150 per cent of GDP. (dpa/NAN)