Protesters demonstrated in front of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, demanding access to their deposits, then went to the Parliament building in downtown Beirut to express their frustration with the deteriorating economic conditions.
Demonstrations continued in the Lebanese capital Beirut and Tripoli for the fifth day in a row, in opposition to living conditions and in protest against the sharp decline in the value of the Lebanese pound, while the Public Prosecutor charged the security services with pursuing manipulators of the national currency.
Groups of protesters have torched tires, in an effort to block roads across the country on a daily basis since the Lebanese currency plunged to a new low on Tuesday, angering residents who have long been alarmed by the country’s financial meltdown.
Protesters demonstrated in front of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, demanding access to their deposits, then went to the Parliament building in downtown Beirut to express their frustration with the deteriorating economic conditions, while the capital witnessed a massive deployment of the army.
Meanwhile, 7 Lebanese protesters were injured yesterday evening, Saturday, in an arson attack against protesters on a main road south of the capital Beirut.
The official Lebanese News Agency stated that a dispute occurred between a number of protesters (against the deterioration of living conditions) who were crossing the main road of Choueifat, and the driver of the car was insisting on overcoming obstacles and passing through it.
“After the protesters refused to allow him to pass, the driver ran them over, wounding 7 of them,” the agency added, without giving details of their health condition.
It indicated that the security forces arrested the driver of the car, while the demonstrators destroyed the car and set it on fire.
In the context, Attorney General Ghassan Aweidat assigned the security services to pursue manipulators of the national currency, coinciding with the decline of the Lebanese pound to its lowest levels.
This came in a circular issued by Judge Oweidat to all security services on Lebanese soil, which include the army intelligence, internal security forces, public security, state security and customs police, according to what was reported by the official Lebanese News Agency.
Threatening to i’tikaaf
For his part, the head of the Lebanese caretaker government, Hassan Diab, threatened to refrain from performing his duties, to pressure politicians to form a new government.
Diab said that if the I’tikaaf will help form the government, then he is ready for it even though it contradicts his convictions, indicating that this may disrupt the entire state and seriously harm the Lebanese.
Diab referred to a recent incident in a Beirut store, where shoppers quarreled over powdered milk, asking, “Doesn’t the scene of the milk race constitute a sufficient incentive to transcend the formalities and round the corners in order to form a government?”
He stressed that social conditions are exacerbating, financial conditions are pressing strongly, and political conditions are becoming more complex, indicating that these grave challenges cannot be faced by an ordinary government without political consensus, “so how can a caretaker government meet these challenges?”
Due to differences between the political forces, Lebanon has not yet been able to form a new government since the resignation of the Diab government on August 10, 6 days after the catastrophic explosion in the port of the capital, Beirut.
On October 22, Lebanese President Michel Aoun assigned Saad Hariri to form a government, after Mustafa Adib apologized for the failure of his mission to form a government.