11/04/2019, 10.16
LEBANON
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Patriarch Raï appeals for "neutral and limited" government. Protests continue

The cardinal renews appeal for a limited-term executive that knows how to collect the "hopes" of a people and that works "for the good of all Lebanese". Demonstrators ask to preserve "national unity" and "wisdom". This morning the protesters blocked the main roads of Beirut and other cities.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A government of technocrats that is "neutral” with a limited" mandate, that listens to the  "hopes" of a people that for 18 days has been filling the streets of the country in a widespread struggle against corruption and reforms economic.

This is what the Maronite patriarch, Card. Beshara Raï, asked for yesterday in the homily of the Sunday Mass celebrated in Bkerké. The Cardinal turned to the ruling class asking they find "the best way" to form an executive "as quickly as possible” capable of working "for the good of all Lebanese".

This morning the protesters returned to blocking the main communication routes of the capital and other cities in the country, in the wake of anti-government protests that broke out on 17 October and which do not seem to be diminishing. The demonstrations led to the resignation last week of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Schools are also closed and lessons suspended.

Yesterday there were several demonstrations that saw tens of thousands of people in the streets. Some of these went to the presidential palace to show support for the head of state, Michel Aoun, who was targeted by other protesters who demand the resignation of "the entire political class".

"The people ask for a neutral and limited government", underlined Card Raï in his homily. A government formed by "Lebanese personalities known for their moral and civic values ", for their "detachment from the sectarian spirit" and from " partisan and political affiliations". They, he added, must be able to implement the long-awaited "reforms".

Lebanese young people, he added, "have mobilized civilly" rejecting "corruption" of the political class and "no longer accepting half-solutions". They no longer believe in the empty "promises" and "demand" a new government that knows how to inspire "trust" by implementing reforms "in the various sectors" and achieving "economic and financial growth".

Turning to the ruling class, the cardinal urges them not to "disappoint" the hopes of the people and to look at this protest movement as the "fundamental engine" for the implementation of the reform plan. Finally, Card. Raï asks the population to preserve "national unity".

He concluded "You have surpassed your confessional affiliations [...] now reject any alignment that could undermine your unity, behaving with wisdom and lucidity in front of those who want to nurture sectarian divisions".

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