POST TIME: 4 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Thousands rally to support Lebanon president
AFP, Baabda

Thousands rally to support Lebanon president

A supporter of Lebanese President Michel Aoun holds his picture during a counter-protest near the presidential palace in Baabda yesterday. AFP photo

Thousands of backers of Lebanon’s embattled president rallied yesterday in a show of support, after more than two weeks of massive nationwide anti-graft protests that brought down the government.

They paid tribute to President Michel Aoun outside the capital, ahead of another demonstration planned in Beirut to demand a complete overhaul of a political system deemed inefficient and corrupt.

In the town of Baabda, supporters of the retired general turned head of state filled up a two-kilometre-long (one-mile-long) road leading to the presidential palace, an AFP correspondent said.

Fans of the president waved large Lebanese flags and orange-coloured banners of the political party he founded, the Free Patriotic Movement, he said.

“We are here, General. We won’t abandon you as long as we live,” one poster read, responding to a cross-sectarian movement calling for an end to his term.

Some Aoun supporters wore orange T-shirts while others held up portraits of the 84-year-old president.

“General Aoun is a reformist and sincere man—not corrupt nor a thief,” said one supporter who gave her name as Diana.

“There has been corruption in the state for 30 years. The president isn’t responsible. He’s trying to fight against graft,” she said.

In Baabda, Aoun supporters said they backed the general demands of protesters nationwide, but insisted the president was the only man able to bring about reforms.