Protesters in Beirut threw tomatoes outside parliament in anger at a decision to put back Lebanese elections that had been due to take place this month – until November next year.
The parliament cited security concerns over neighbouring Syria, saying an election campaign would be impossible. Tension has risen since the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement said openly it was fighting alongside President al-Assad’s forces.
There has also been disagreement over an electoral law.
‘‘We are against the extension of the parliament’s term. It has no right to do that. The Lebanese people have the right to choose who represents them. They had four years to draw up an election law but they spent it squabbling. It is a great shame they waited until the last month to extend their term and use the security situation as an excuse,’‘ said one protester, Assad Thebian.
It is thought all political parties are trying to buy time to see how the Syrian war evolves. Lebanon remains profoundly divided over it and increasingly drawn into the conflict.
The northern city of Tripoli regularly sees clashes between supporters of rival camps.