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Lebanon PM launches Twitter account for ‘Plans and Suggestions’

Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab gives a statement following his meeting with outgoing prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut on 20 December, 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]
Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab gives a statement following his meeting with outgoing prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut on 20 December, 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, yesterday launched a Twitter account with his “official team” asking “for Plans & Suggestions” from citizens.

The account calls for Lebanese people to “share with [the team] …  recommendations, projects & claims”, in hopes to please everyone and come up with solutions.

Under the handle @hassandiabteam, the team have added a message of hope that “together, we face all challenges for a better Lebanon”.  At the time of writing, the account has 6,719 followers.

In its first tweet, the account shared guidelines and regulations for engaging with the team.

The rules include a call for respectful, constructive dialogue, to refrain from insulting people or using rude words, and to reflect on the whole of Lebanon, including its people, cultures and civilisations.

The tweet asks people to remain respectful in hopes of quelling the hate that Diab and his team receive regularly.

The account has received several responses, many of them calling on Diab to stop economic policies which benefit the elites, resolve the country’s electricity crisis and grant Lebanese women the right to pass their citizenship to their children.

READ: Lebanon asks WHO for additional assistance to confront coronavirus

Some users have expressed their support for the government, and the hope of finding a quick and effective solution for the country’s deepening financial crisis.

Several users have called on the prime minister to resign, with others raising questions over how this would benefit Lebanon, or help the country resolve current crises.

Diab’s team has responded to these claims but reiterating requests for users to abide by the rules laid out by the account, or to not participate. The account has used the same response for several negative tweets.

Diab’s government, which was formed in January after a month of negotiations, is facing the country’s worst economic crisis since the end of the civil war in 1990, amid fears of imminent economic collapse. The country is due to repay, or default on, Eurobonds maturing on 9 March.

Lebanon’s economic woes have been compounded by nearly five months of anti-government protests, which show no signs of abating.

Fears that the government, which failed to suspend flights from nations with large numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases for a week after the first infection in Lebanon was reported, has reacted lethargically to the threat of coronavirus sparked renewed public protests over government failures.

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