Thousands Attend Competing Rallies in Lebanon

Protesters in Lebanon rallied Sunday to call for President Michel Aoun's ouster as part of a push for sweeping changes that have already brought the resignation of the country's prime minister.

The protests in Beirut came hours after supporters of Aoun turned out to show their support for the president.

Aoun gave an address near the presidential palace in southeastern Beirut in which he said his supporters and the anti-government protesters should work together on anti-corruption efforts.

But in their later demonstration, the protesters rejected Aoun as a leader to deliver reforms, saying all of Lebanon's political establishment needs to go.

The protests began last month in support of a complete overhaul of Lebanon's sectarian-based politics. Under the current system, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shi'ite Muslim.

The demonstrators have also blamed the political establishment for rampant corruption and poor public services.

by via Voice of America - English