Le­banese news­pa­per protests po­lit­i­cal grid­lock

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - WORLD -

BEIRUT — One of Lebanon’s lead­ing news­pa­pers printed a blank is­sue Thurs­day to protest the coun­try’s long-run­ning po­lit­i­cal grid­lock and the fail­ure to form a gov­ern­ment five months af­ter elec­tions. “We are ring­ing the alarm bells,” Nayla Tueni, ed­i­tor-in-chief of An-Na­har daily, said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the news­pa­per’s head­quar­ters in Beirut, Lebanon. The is­sue con­sisted of eight blank pages. Tueni said the move was an ex­pres­sion of ex­as­per­a­tion and called out politi­cians’ in­abil­ity to form a gov­ern­ment or ad­dress is­sues such as pol­lu­tion and eco­nomic stag­na­tion. “This is not just the me­dia cry­ing out, this is the cry of a coun­try,” she said. Lebanon has been with­out a gov­ern­ment since May’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, as politi­cians ar­gue over the for­ma­tion of a power-shar­ing cab­i­net. A sec­tar­ian sys­tem es­tab­lished af­ter the 1975-1990 civil war has en­trenched long-rul­ing elites and makes it dif­fi­cult to form a gov­ern­ment or agree on ma­jor poli­cies.

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