Lebanon president asks Hariri to head caretaker cabinet

AFP , Wednesday 30 Oct 2019

Lebanon's president on Wednesday acknowledged the government's resignation following almost two weeks of unprecedented protests but asked it to stay on until a new cabinet is formed.

Michel Aoun "asked the government to continue to conduct affairs until a new cabinet is formed", his office said in a statement.

He said the measure followed the constitutional provision for cases in which the government steps down.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his cabinet's resignation on Tuesday, the 13th day of a wave of protests triggered by a proposed tax on calls via free phone applications.

Though that proposal was then scrapped, the demonstrations swelled into a broad cross-sectarian call for an end to a political system viewed as corrupt and inefficient.

Many of the country's ruling elite hail from political parties or families that have been in power since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

It is unclear what a new government would look like and whether it would include independent technocrats as demanded by the demonstrators.

Short link: