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October 22, 2018

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Lebanese paper prints blank issue to protest gridlock

Updated Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 | 5:30 a.m.

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's leading newspaper has printed a blank issue to protest long-running political gridlock and the failure to form a government five months after elections.

Nayla Tueni, editor-in-chief of An-Nahar daily, says "we are ringing the alarm bells" with Thursday's edition of the paper, which consists of eight blank pages.

She told a press conference at the paper's Beirut headquarters that the move was an expression of exasperation. She called out politicians' inability to form a government or address issues like pollution and economic stagnation, saying: "This is not just the media crying out, this is the cry of a country."

The sectarian power-sharing system established after Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war has entrenched long-ruling elites and makes it difficult to form a government or agree on major policies.