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New Lebanese govt meet for first time amidst protests

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Lebanon’s newly-formed cabinet met for the first time on Wednesday as anti-government protesters expressed their disapproval by blocking roads around the capital Beirut.

The Presidential Palace meeting was chaired by President Michel Aoun who came a day after Prime Minister Hassan Diab finalised the new cabinet.

Lebanese protesters have taken to the streets since October 17 to demand the departure of the country’s ruling elite, accusing them of mismanagement and corruption.

The protests led to the resignation of Saad Hariri as prime minister.

The demonstrators expressed their dismay over Lebanon’s new cabinet, arguing that the ministers were chosen by mainstream political parties like Hezbollah and its allies the Amal movement and President Aoun.

“Those are puppets for Hezbollah and Aoun,’’ one protester told a local television. “They do not represent all the Lebanese.’’

In a speech on Tuesday, Diab vowed to meet the demands of the protesters, who have been calling for an independent judiciary.

He also vowed to recovery of embezzled funds as well as reviving the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Sadiya Hamza

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