- Title: Lebanon's Hariri gives govt 72-hour deadline to act amid protests
- Date: 18th October 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS BUILDING IN CENTRAL BEIRUT
- Embargoed: 1st November 2019 18:09
- Keywords: Lebanon protests protests in Lebanon Lebanese protesters politics Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri Hariri
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA003B1MMB7R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART AUDIO AS INCOMING ON SECOND AL-HARIRI SOUNDBITE
Tens of thousands of angry Lebanese took to the streets on Friday (October 18), blocking roads and burning tyres in a second day of nationwide protest to demand the removal of a political elite they accuse of looting the economy to the point of collapse.
Addressing protesters, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri blamed his rivals in government for obstructing reforms that could have resolved the economic crisis and gave them a 72-hour deadline to stop blocking him, otherwise hinting he may resign.
He said Lebanon was going through an "unprecedented, difficult time".
Lebanon's biggest protests in a decade recall the 2011 Arab revolts that toppled four presidents. Lebanese from all sects and walks of life have come out on to the streets, waving banners and chanting slogans urging Hariri's government to go.
"There are those who placed obstacles in front of me since the government was formed, and in the face of all the efforts that I have proposed for reform," Hariri said, without naming names.
"Whatever the solution, we no longer have time and I am personally giving myself only a little time," he said.
"Either our partners in the settlement and the government give a frank, decisive and final response that convinces me and convinces the Lebanese and the international community and all those who are expressing their anger in the streets today that there is a decision from everyone to reform, to stop the waste and corruption, or I will have another say."
(Production: Yara Abi Nader and Alaa Kanaan)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None