Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri resigns amidst series of anti-government protests


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has announced on Tuesday he was resigning following two weeks of demonstrations against his government and widespread corruption in the country.

In his speech on Tuesday, Hariri said he had come to “a dead end”.

“No one is bigger than his country,” Hariri said, urging Lebanese to preserve stability and security.

“It is time for us to have a big shock to face the crisis. I am going to the Baabda [presidential]palace to present the resignation of the government. To all partners in political life, our responsibility today is how we protect Lebanon and revive its economy.”

Lebanon has been paralysed by 13 days of protests that have seen hundreds of thousands of people mass across the country and roadblocks erected on key routes.

Last week, Hariri promised a series of reforms in an attempt to placate protesters who spontaneously hit the streets to rail against a series of taxes that would have hit the pockets of the average Lebanese.

At the news of his resignation, jubilation spread across the crowds of protesters, who hugged, sang and beat drums.

“I feel pride and joy,” Nawal al-Mayouli, 72, told Middle East Eye in central Beirut. “In 13 days, we have been able to force a government of corrupt and absolutely incompetent people to resign.”

Maylouli said the recent protest movement had brought all Lebanese together, “without consideration for religion, geography, age or class”. (Source: Middle East Eye)