Middle East

Lebanon: Demonstration in front of Prime Minister-designate’s house

Dozens of Lebanese protesters gathered on Saturday in front of the house of Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab in the capital, Beirut, and called on him to refrain from the formation of the government.

Around Diab’s security-forfeited residence, dozens of protesters joined the demonstration heading from the northern city of Tripoli. They condemned his proposals of names to take the new government positions and called for his departure, according to Sky News Arabia.

The protest at Diab’s premises came hours after dozens of Lebanese protesters staged a sit-in inside a bank in Beirut and another in the south.

Sit-in Inside a Bank:

Dozens of Lebanese protesters held a brief sit-in inside a bank in Beirut and another in the country’s south on Saturday, part of their focus on banking policies they complain are inefficient and corrupt.

Meanwhile, layoffs and salary cuts are becoming the norm while politicians bicker over forming a new government.

Dozens of protesters entered a private bank in the commercial Hamra district in Beirut, protesting capital controls and insisting that no one would leave without the money they came for. Banks have put a withdrawal ceiling of $200 a week on most accounts, while totally blocking outside transfers.

Lebanon imports most of its basic needs and is one of the world’s most indebted countries. Some protesters are calling for banks to finance imports instead of servicing debts.

Lebanon: Demonstration in front of Prime Minister-designate’s house

Lebanon Crisis:

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, while protests against corruption and mismanagement have gripped the country since October.

The local currency has taken a nosedive, losing more than 40% of its value after over 20 years of being pegged to the dollar. Banks are imposing unprecedented capital controls to protect their deposits amid a deepening confidence crisis.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Oct. 29 and continues in a caretaker capacity.

The prime minister designate, Hassan Diab, was named on Dec. 19 and is backed by the militant Hezbollah group and its allies. However, he has failed to win the backing of the main Sunni Muslim groups.

Some protesters have also rejected him, saying he is still part of the ruling elite they accuse of corruption.

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