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Lebanon PM Saad Hariri announces resignation 'to fix crisis'

Protesters have called for PM Saad Hariri's resignation for weeks [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2019

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Saad Hariri has announced he will submit his resignation to the president on Tuesday, bowing to the demands of protesters.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced on Tuesday he would submit his resignation to the president, bowing to pressure from the mass protests that have brought the country to a standstill for almost two weeks.

"It has become necessary for us to make a great shock to fix the crisis. I am going to the Baabda Palace to give my resignation," Hariri said in a televised speech.

Hariri has been among the main targets of mass protests which have put Lebanon on lockdown for almost two weeks and issued demands for radical political and economic overhaul.

Prime Minister Hariri issued a reform bill last week in an attempt to quell the protests, but the proposals - which include cutting minister salaries and a privatisation drive - have failed to defuse popular anger and rallies have continued to swell.

One of the main chants heard at the protests has been "all of them means all of them", calling for the resignation of the entire political class without exception.

Since the outbreak of the rallies, protesters have demanded the resignation of the whole government amid accusations of rampant corruption among the political elite facilitated by a sectarian power-sharing agreement.

Hariri himself was embroiled in a financial scandal earlier this month after court documents revealed he "gifted" more than $16 million to a 20-year-old South African bikini model he met on holiday in the Seychelles.

Many Lebanese reacted with outrage at the allegations, especially in light of the fact that many employees of Hariri's business empire had gone unpaid for months because of lack of funds.

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