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Lebanon's mufti calls for forming emergency government

November 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Demonstrators gather to stage a protest against the government’s policy on easing the economical crisis in Beirut, Lebanon on 22 October 2019 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon’s grand mufti on Saturday called for the formation of an emergency government of experts amid protests rocking the Arab country, reported by Anadolu Agency. 

“It is time for reforms to start … [and] to form a government of experts and implement [caretaker] Prime Minister [Saad] Hariri’s economic paper,” Abdel-Latif Derian, the top cleric for Sunni Muslims, said in his message to the nation on Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.

He also called on those in power to fulfil demands by protesters.

Mass protests erupted across Lebanon last month against government plans to tax calls on WhatsApp and other messaging services. The demonstrations quickly turned into wider grievances with calls for the resignation of the Lebanese government and bringing corrupt officials to accountability.

READ: Thousands of Lebanese rally outside presidential palace in support of Aoun

Hariri resigned, shortly after presenting a package of reforms that aimed to calm protester anger against his government.

Lebanon suffers from high unemployment, little growth and one of the highest debt ratios in the world, with the debt burden reaching $86.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Ministry of Finance.