Lebanon begins removing concrete barriers around Parliament

Newly elected independent MPs had vowed to remove slabs that have shielded building since 2019 protests

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Lebanese authorities have begun removing concrete barriers that have blocked access to Parliament in Beirut since 2019.

These were erected amid nationwide protests against Lebanon's ruling classes.

Their removal comes after parliamentary elections on May 15. Among those elected to the 128-seat Parliament were 13 independent opposition MPs — many linked to the 2019 demonstrations.

Of the independents, 12 will be entering Parliament for the first time. Many had previously called for the removal of the barriers.

“There are no walls that rise between the representatives of the nation and citizens,” new MP Elias Jradi said on Twitter on Monday morning.

Late on Monday afternoon, authorities removed some of the blocks that had shielded arliament from the general public. A small crowd gathered on Monday, waving Lebanese flags and chanting slogans.

Work recommenced late on Tuesday morning.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said the easing of restrictions was his duty after the elections results.

“The people who were protesting here are now inside,” he said on Monday. “Some of them are in the Parliament.”

The office of Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri said the work would be finished before the next session begins.

Updated: May 25, 2022, 12:13 PM