Published17 hours ago
Lebanon’s government has reversed a decision to delay the shift to daylight savings time by a month, which had sparked both anger and confusion.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that clocks would now go forward on Wednesday night.
He had agreed to a delay last week so Muslims could break their fasts earlier during the holy month of Ramadan.
But Christian authorities defied the order and changed their clocks as usual on Sunday, which was the last in March.
Many businesses, media outlets and educational institutions followed suit, leaving people living in one of the smallest countries in the Middle East struggling to deal with two different time zones.
Mr Mikati, who is a Sunni Muslim, insisted on Monday that his initial decision to delay the time change until 20 April to “relieve” those fasting during Ramadan had not been for “sectarian reasons”, adding: “A decision like this should not have triggered such sectarian responses.”
He blamed the deep political and religious divisions that have resulted in parliament being unable to agree on a new president since October and a caretaker cabinet with limited powers being left to run the country.
“The problem is not summer time or winter time… The problem is the presidential vacuum.”
The political paralysis has also compounded Lebanon’s crushing economic crisis, which has left more than 80% of the population living in poverty and struggling to afford food and medicine.