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Lebanon PM resigns following protests

Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reached a dead end

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said today he would submit his government’s resignation to President Michel Aoun in response to protests which have been ongoing for two weeks, saying he had “reached a dead end”.

Lebanon has been swept by protests against a political class accused of corruption, mismanagement of state finances and pushing the country towards an economic collapse unseen since the 1975-90 civil war.

The protests came after the government announced it was introducing a daily tax on the use of internet telecommunication applications Facebook, Facetime and Skype in an effort to raise $216 million each year.

On Friday, a Saudi newspaper revealed that Hariri’s government would resign within 48 hours.

Lebanon: Protesters block roads linking Beirut and provinces

Hariri became prime minister in December 2016, he previously held the position from November 2009 to June 2011. His father, Rafic Hariri, previously held the seat from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation on 20 October 2004. He was assassinated in Beirut in 2005.

Hariri previously resigned by his post in November 2017 during a visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh. However reports at the time implied that Hariri was being forced to step down by the kingdom’s authorities who were holding him against his will.

He later suspended his decision and retuned to post – and Lebanon – weeks later.

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