Lebanon’s parliament, besieged by protesters, said on Tuesday it had indefinitely postponed a session that had been due to discuss controversial draft laws.

“The session has been postponed to a date to be determined later,” said parliament official Adnane Daher, reading a statement in front of television cameras, citing “exceptional conditions, in particular security conditions”.

Thousands of Lebanese had earlier on Sunday occupied streets in an unprecedented protest movement against the ruling elite.

The leaderless pan-sectarian movement has swept the Mediterranean country since October 17, prompting the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government.

Demonstrators are demanding a complete overhaul of the political class and for a new government of technocrats not affiliated with traditional parties.

Protesters have decried everything from unemployment to chronic power cuts and say they are fed up with the same families dominating government institutions since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

No date has been set for parliamentary consultations required to pave the way for a new cabinet line-up and the country has been paralysed by school and bank closures.

On Sunday, thousands of Lebanese flooded main squares in Beirut, second city Tripoli in the north and the southern port city of Sidon as well as other parts of the country.

They dedicated their rallies to the “martyrs” of the “revolution” — two men who lost their lives in the protests.

“Life has been bitter for years and today the people are in the street to achieve their demands,” protester Kassem Kassem said in Beirut.

In Tripoli, demonstrator Khaled Sabbagh, 26, said those in power tried, “but failed to circumvent the demands of the popular uprising”.

“We must prevent any plan aimed at dividing us and we must push our demands and not give up, no matter how much pressure is applied until the people emerge victorious,” he said, while warning of “new challenges”.


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