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Lebanon PM Saad Hariri to submit resignation after mass protests
The two-week crisis has paralysed Lebanon, closing banks, schools and some businesses [File: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters]
DAILYNEWS - Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said he will submit his resignation to President Michel Aoun, satisfying one of the main demands of the country's protest movement.
The announcement on Tuesday came on the back 13 days of mass anti-government protests demanding the departure of the country's political elite amid growing anger over official corruption, poor public services and years of economic mismanagement.
"We have reached a deadlock and we need a shock in order to brave through the crisis," Hariri said in a televised statement from the capital, Beirut.
"I'm heading to the presidential palace to tender the resignation of the government ... This is in response to the will and demand of the thousands of Lebanese demanding change," he added.
Defying pleas from the country's top politicians, protesters on Tuesday sought to keep Lebanon on lockdown by cutting off access to some of the main thoroughfares, including the main north-south highway.
Earlier in the day, people believed to be supporters of Hezbollah and its ally Amal forced protesters from a roadblock they had set up in Beirut, tearing down their tents and fighting with them, forcing the police to intervene.
The two-week crisis has paralysed Lebanon, closing banks, schools and some businesses. Lebanon's banking association said banks would remain shut on Tuesday for a tenth straight working day, but added the central bank had provided the liquidity necessary to pay out salaries for public sector workers, including members of security forces.
Hariri's resignation would be seen as defying the powerful Shia group Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah has twice said he was against such a step, citing the risk of a dangerous void.
On Monday, Aoun said he was "following developments".
More to follow...
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