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30 Oct, 2019 13:52

Lebanon’s President Aoun asks Hariri to head caretaker cabinet

Lebanon’s President Aoun asks Hariri to head caretaker cabinet

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun on Wednesday accepted the government’s resignation, but asked it to stay on until a new cabinet is formed, AFP reports. Aoun said the measure followed the constitutional provision for cases in which the government steps down, his office said in a statement.

PM Saad al-Hariri announced his cabinet’s resignation on Tuesday, the 13th day of a wave of protests triggered by a proposed tax on calls via free phone applications.

That proposal was then scrapped, but the demonstrations swelled into a broad cross-sectarian call for an end to a political system viewed as corrupt and inefficient. Many of the country's ruling elite hail from political parties or families that have been in power since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

It is unclear what a new government would look like and whether it would include independent technocrats, as demanded by the demonstrators.