Thousands of Lebanese protest against new PM
BEIRUT, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) : Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday to demonstrate against the newly appointed Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the National News Agency reported.
Protesters also implemented a sit-in near Diab’s house in Beirut, capital of Lebanon. Protesters said they refuse Diab’s appointment, because it will bring back to power the same corrupted political parties who are adopting the same old concept of arguing about shares in the government, which should not be the case amid the current pressing economic and financial challenges prevailing in the country.
“This concept is no longer accepted in Lebanon. Officials are still allocating ministries among them while neglecting people’s demands,” a civil society protester said.Other signs accused banks of stealing people’s money.
Protesters who have started nationwide movements have been asking for the formation of a government with independent ministers who are capable of introducing structural reforms to save the country’s deteriorating economy.
However, the newly appointed prime minister has so far failed to form a new cabinet due to interferences by the different political parties who are trying to protect their shares in the coming government.
Lebanon is in dire need for a new cabinet as it has been going through a very tough economic and financial crisis caused by failing policies of successive governments which resulted in a public debt of over 86 billion U.S. dollars.
Also, Lebanon has witnessed in the past few months a shortage in U.S. dollars caused by economic slowdown and the drop in cash injections from Lebanese abroad, reducing the central bank’s foreign currency reserves and leading to a shortage in dollar for businesses and individuals.
This has prompted banks to put restrictions on withdrawals of depositors creating fear among depositors about the future of their deposits. Enditem