Thousands rally in Lebanon against the sectarian system

Thousands of Lebanese rallied in Beirut on Sunday against the  sectarian system of power-sharing which they blame for the majority of problems in Lebanon

The protesters marched for three hours from the national museum to the center of the capital, chanting “revolution against the regime, against corruption.”

“People want the fall of the regime,” and “We do not want confessionalism or civil war,” cried others.

Security forces prevented them from entering Place de l’Etoile, the square where parliament is located.

“No to quotas, no to political dynasties” and “one civil status for all” read the banners deployed in the demonstration which was organized by young activists demanding an end to the confessional system in Lebanon.

The rally’s organizers said they were free of any political affiliation after the Amal Movement and other parties organized along sectarian lines expressed support for the youth movement.

The organizers have set up a tent in front of the Interior Ministry.

Sunday’s protest was the third organized against the sectarian system by a broad coalition of civil society, political and youth organizations. Protesters carried signs and shouted slogans demanding the “overthrow of the regime,” echoing the rallying cry of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings.

Lebanon’s system of government is rooted in a 1943 power-sharing agreement along confessional lines adopted after the country won its independence from France.

Aimed at maintaining a balance between Lebanon’s 18 religious sects, the agreement calls for the president to be a Christian Maronite, the prime minister to be Muslim Sunni and parliament speaker a Muslim Shiite. Critics say the confessional power-sharing agreement allows a small elite to dominate politics, dividing the spoils of the state among themselves and weakening the government while strengthening the systems of patronage that keep them in power.

  • Beiruti

    If we have a governemt system for example like America, if the President is a Christian and he does something wrong for the country all the Muslims are going to swear at him because hes a Christian. If the president is a Muslim all the Christians are also going to swear at him if he does something wrong. First we should worry about getting rid of this garbage Hezbollah, and after our government system, frankly the government system right now isnt causing much of a problem compared to Hezbollah.

  • Anonymous

    If we have a governemt system for example like America, if the President is a Christian and he does something wrong for the country all the Muslims are going to swear at him because hes a Christian. If the president is a Muslim all the Christians are also going to swear at him if he does something wrong. First we should worry about getting rid of this garbage Hezbollah, and after our government system, frankly the government system right now isnt causing much of a problem compared to Hezbollah.

  • Sebouh80

    I hope these rallies will lead to the consciouceness of all the Lebanese people to unite and eventually topple this corrupt decedent sectarian political system that has plagued Lebanon since 1943. What is also needed in Lebanon is a radical change in socio-economic and political dyanamics.

  • Sebouh80

    I hope these rallies will lead to the consciouceness of all the Lebanese people to unite and eventually topple this corrupt decedent sectarian political system that has plagued Lebanon since 1943. What is also needed in Lebanon is a radical change in socio-economic and political dyanamics.

  • Anonymous

    I hope these rallies will lead to the consciouceness of all the Lebanese people to unite and eventually topple this corrupt decedent sectarian political system that has plagued Lebanon since 1943. What is also needed in Lebanon is a radical change in socio-economic and political dyanamics.

  • ghzayel

    trying to convince the general population to abolish the sectarian system in lebanon, while fully armed sectarian renegade groups are still untouchable and running their own little states, is going to be an impossible goal to achieve in the near future.
    these young motivated lebanese would have better luck if they focus their campaign on fighting corruption so rampant among top government officials in lebanon.

  • Anonymous

    trying to convince the general population to abolish the sectarian system in lebanon, while fully armed sectarian renegade groups are still untouchable and running their own little states, is going to be an impossible goal to achieve in the near future.
    these young motivated lebanese would have better luck if they focus their campaign on fighting corruption so rampant among top government officials in lebanon.

  • Anonymous

    trying to convince the general population to abolish the sectarian system in lebanon, while fully armed sectarian renegade groups are still untouchable and running their own little states, is going to be an impossible goal to achieve in the near future.
    these young motivated lebanese would have better luck if they focus their campaign on fighting corruption so rampant among top government officials in lebanon.

  • Rafic

    It is a wonderful idea and a wishful thinking at the same time,Lebanese do not have political maturity as long as they worship a leader because he belongs to his sect or religion, the Lebanese were fed poison by each other during the civil war and now, we see this more clearly when we are living overseas but for locals the animosity is strong, we the diaspora when we see a Lebanese we like them right away, but in Lebanon they want to know where in Lebanon you were born what school you went what is your religious affiliation what party you belong to, so what I think this wonderful idea will be achieved after one generation if the school curriculum changes and teach youngesters love of the country and parents should cut the crap about indoctrinating kids at home this religion or party is better then the other, so leveling field is achieved and then Lebanese can choose a leader on it’s merit instead of religion.

  • Anonymous

    It is a wonderful idea and a wishful thinking at the same time,Lebanese do not have political maturity as long as they worship a leader because he belongs to his sect or religion, the Lebanese were fed poison by each other during the civil war and now, we see this more clearly when we are living overseas but for locals the animosity is strong, we the diaspora when we see a Lebanese we like them right away, but in Lebanon they want to know where in Lebanon you were born what school you went what is your religious affiliation what party you belong to, so what I think this wonderful idea will be achieved after one generation if the school curriculum changes and teach youngesters love of the country and parents should cut the crap about indoctrinating kids at home this religion or party is better then the other, so leveling field is achieved and then Lebanese can choose a leader on it’s merit instead of religion.

  • southfields

    It is about time the people of Lebanon rise and become mature and get rid of all corrupt sectarian politics. Why we have to live with what France have dictated for our granfathers. We need a system based on equality among the people of Lebanon. No one is better than anyone except in merit and meritocracy.

  • Anonymous

    It is about time the people of Lebanon rise and become mature and get rid of all corrupt sectarian politics. Why we have to live with what France have dictated for our granfathers. We need a system based on equality among the people of Lebanon. No one is better than anyone except in merit and meritocracy.