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Lebanese Decry Sectarian Strife

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TEHRAN, March 7 (ICANA) – Thousands of people marched on the streets of Beirut protesting against a decades old sectarian political system.
Monday, March 07, 2011 10:03:59 AM
Lebanese Decry Sectarian Strife

This power-sharing system which was adopted after the independence from France ensures a Maronite president, a Sunni Muslim prime minister and a Shia speaker of the Parliament.

In 2010, Lebanese Parliament speaker Nabih Berri said ending the sectarian political system is a national duty, and he put together a committee to tackle the issue.

The former Lebanese opposition led by Hezbollah and Christian leader Michele Aoun called for unity between all Lebanese political sects and direct voting by Lebanese citizens rather than voting by districts based on sectarian lines.

In Lebanon, people have always voted along sectarian lines, and the country's Shias, Sunnis, Christians and Druze are convinced that this political system fairly represents the demographic distribution of the religious groups in government.

However, some analysts say the power-sharing has fuelled corruption and hindered development. Some religious figures will also agree to end the Lebanon's confessional system, but say when it comes to religious matters that is a different issue.

The protestors claim to be independent and not with any of the Lebanese political camps. They say they are simply fighting against a system that paved the way for corruption, and want leaders that are chosen by the people and work for the people's interests.

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