On Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, Lebanon prime minister Saad Hariri quitted amid intense anti-government protests which started 2 weeks ago.
The protestors were demanding prime minister’s resignation as he failed to draw a solution for the ongoing economic crisis prevailing in Lebanon. The country is undergoing a deep financial crisis as it holds one of the world’s highest debt ratio of $86 billion. This is 150% more than the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Also, read: Protests intensify as Lebanon’s Financial Crisis deepen
After Saad Hariri’s resignation, protestors cheered and the demonstrations were halted. Supporters of the Shiite Amal movement and Hezbollah have intensified the protests and led to violence during these protests. Otherwise, by and large, Lebanon’s protests were peaceful.
Hezbollah group is considered more militarily powerful even than Lebanese armed forces. This is the only armed group in Lebanon to maintain its weapons even after the end of the civil war.
In 2006, Hezbollah forces fought ferociously against Israel which occupied southern Lebanon from 1982 until 2000. This war lasted for a month.
After the resignation, Saad Hariri said –
I tried all this time to find an exit and listen to the voice of the people and protect the country from the security and economic dangers,
Today, to be honest with you, I have hit a dead end, and it is time for a big shock to confront the crisis.
After the resignation of Hariri, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged
Lebanon’s political leaders to urgently facilitate the formation of a new government that can build a stable, prosperous, and secure Lebanon that is responsive to the needs of its citizens.
The peaceful demonstrations and expressions of national unity over the last 13 days have sent a clear message. The Lebanese people want an efficient and effective government, economic reform, and an end to endemic corruption,