under pressure from the street, Mohammad Safadi renounces becoming prime minister

The wealthy businessman, and former minister, finds it difficult to form a "harmonious" government, while demonstrations denouncing the political class have shaken the country for a month.

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Anti-government protesters hosted the "Revolution Bus" on Saturday (November 16th) in Saïda, after he traveled from north to south. MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP

Mohammad Safadi, a former Lebanese finance minister, resigned on Saturday (November 16th) to become the next head of the country's government shaken for a month by an unprecedented popular protest against the ruling class accused of corruption and incompetence.

In a statement, Mr. Safadi, a 75-year-old businessman, found it difficult to form a government "Harmonious" in the current circumstances, saying that he hopes that the resigning prime minister, Saad Hariri, will be reinstated.

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Protesters in Lebanon on Friday greeted with dismay and anger information on the possible appointment of Mr Safadi as the next prime minister, calling him "Corrupt" and a member of the political class they want to leave for a month. In several cities of the country, including Tripoli, of which Mr. Safadi is from, they shouted their refusal of such an appointment.

According to senior officials and the local press, key political forces agreed late Thursday to appoint the former finance minister to replace Hariri, who resigned on 29 October under pressure from the street. However, no official announcement was made by President Michel Aoun, who must proceed, according to the Constitution, to parliamentary consultations at the end of which he appoints the prime minister.

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Events and "bus of the revolution"

The protesters, who conspire without exception the members of a ruling class almost unchanged for thirty years, claim a cabinet consisting exclusively of technocrats totally independent of the ruling parties for early parliamentary elections.

On Saturday, the US Embassy in Lebanon said it supports the protests that have been going on since October 17th. "We support the Lebanese people in peaceful demonstrations and demonstrations of national unity", said the embassy on his Twitter account.

The "Revolution Bus" on the streets of Beirut on November 16th.
The "Revolution Bus" on the streets of Beirut on November 16th. ANWAR AMRO / AFP

On Sunday, massive protests are planned in several cities across the country to keep up the pressure on the ruling class. An initiative called the "Bus of the revolution" Saturday traveled Lebanon from north to south. Morning departure from the region of Akkar in the north, this bus, decorated with the names of different hotbeds of protest in the country, arrived in the early evening in the city of Saida, south.

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This initiative symbolically aimed, according to demonstrators, to break the geographical and confessional barriers between the Lebanese and to overcome the collective trauma of the civil war (1975-1990), triggered by the strafing of a bus, an act that became the symbol of the conflict. and intercommunity divisions.


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