UN urges Lebanon to elect president as protests escalate

UN urges Lebanon to elect president as protests escalate
The Security Council has called on the Lebanese parliament to elect a new president, a post that has been vacant for over a year, amid snowballing 'You Stink' street protests
2 min read
03 September, 2015
Beirut authorities have placed new barriers around government headquarters to head off protesters [Anadolu/Getty]
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council called on the parliament of Lebanon to elect a new president to ease the multifaceted crisis gripping the country.

The call was made after Lebanese MPs again failed in their 28th bid to elect a new president.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman expired in May 2014.

Lebanon's chronic political paralysis has been now exacerbated by protests triggered by a waste collection crisis.

The "You Stink" protests quickly developed into a campaign against what protesters say is the corruption and dysfunction of Lebanese politics.

The 15-member Security Council expressed support for the government, and called on Lebanon's lawmakers "to meet and elect a president as soon as possible in order to put an end to the constitutional instability," according to Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose country holds the presidency of the council in September.

A meeting on the Lebanon crisis is expected to take place on the sidelines of the UN gathering of world leaders later this month.

In Lebanon, the Lebanese government seems powerless to deal with the ongoing garbage crisis, now approaching its 50th day.

On Wednesday, dozens held a small demonstration outside the prime minister's headquarters in Beirut, which security forces had reinforced with new barriers.

The protesters are demanding Environment Minister Mohammed Machnouq step down, new parliamentary elections to be held, and accountability for violence against protesters.

The organisers of the You Stink protesters have called for a new major demonstration to take place on September 9.