Lebanon: Prime Minister provokes uproar by wanting to delay summer time

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati at a press conference in Beirut in late 2021 (illustration photo). © Dalati Nohra, AP

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The Prime Minister's decision to postpone the transition to daylight saving time by a month has caused controversy in Lebanon. Several sectors, including churches, media, schools and institutions, announced that they were refusing to implement Najib Mikati's measure and were moving their watches forward by one hour. This Sunday, March 26, the Lebanese wake up with two schedules in the same country.


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With our correspondent in Beirut, Paul Khalifeh

The hasty nature of the Lebanese authorities' decision to postpone the transition to summer time by one month, but also its motivations, have sparked controversy in the country.

On a technical level, Najib Mikati's measure has taken civil aviation, telecommunications companies, banks and other sectors by surprise that have not had time to adapt.

The measurement was taken without synchronization with the time server through the so-called "NTP" protocol, which stands for "Network Time Protocol".

The controversy has taken on a confessional dimension, since it would have been implemented to reduce by one hour the fasting of Muslim communities during the month of Ramadan.

Christian circles in the country denounced an "arbitrary measure" adopted "without consultation". Christian churches and Catholic schools slammed the decision and said they would not comply.

Three television channels and several daily newspapers close to Christian circles have adopted the same position.

Najib Mikati denounced "an attempt to drag the country into communal dissension with the aim of exacerbating tensions by giving a purely administrative measure a confessional scope".

The first political consequence of this measure was the Prime Minister's announcement of the postponement of a meeting of his government scheduled for Monday.

► Read also Economic crisis in Lebanon: the country is living a "very dangerous moment", warns the IMF

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  • Lebanon
  • Najib Mikati