What Happened: The Lebanese army has voiced support for protesters' demands while calling on them to stop blocking streets as part of their demonstrations, The Daily Star reported Oct. 23. Meanwhile, Maronite Christian Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi also said he supports the protesters and that he approves of the first round of reforms to address their demands, but that a new Cabinet was necessary to implement the changes.
Why It Matters: The patriarch's support for a Cabinet reshuffle is notable and could empower protesters to push more vigorously for a new administration. His comments could also indicate an emerging sentiment among Lebanon's political class that time is running out to reach a peaceful solution to appease some of the protests.
Background: Lebanon has been experiencing six days of growing, but mostly peaceful, protests that call for anti-corruption measures and the resignation of the current government.
- Lebanon: Protests Put the Government in a Tight Spot (Oct. 21, 2019)
- In Lebanon, All Roads Lead to Austerity (Oct. 7, 2019)
- Lebanon's Profligate Factions Gamble on a Foreign Rescue (June 5, 2019)