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Lebanon’s President: We Have Drawn Up a 3-Point Plan

Lebanon’s President: We Have Drawn Up a 3-Point Plan

Sunday, 3 November, 2019 - 16:30
Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Reuters

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Sunday that a three-point plan had been drawn up around tackling corruption, restoring the economy, and building a civil state.


Aoun, who must now hold consultations with members of parliament to designate a new premier following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said: "These three points are not easily achieved, we need your efforts, and we need a square filled both by you and the (anti-government) protesters to defend your rights.


"Many are trying to be obstructive. This is why we need to make a huge effort," said Aoun in a televised speech, addressing his supporters who converged on the presidential palace in Baabda to back him.


Hariri resigned on Tuesday following unprecedented nationwide protests.


Aoun has signaled support for a more technocratic government, saying in a speech after Hariri's resignation that ministers should be chosen "according to their competencies and expertise, not political loyalties."


Hariri's government has continued in a caretaker capacity until a new one is formed.


In his speech on Sunday, Aoun described corruption, a primary protestor grievance, as having become "nested" in the state.


Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law and an object of ridicule by anti-government protesters, addressed supporters at the rally, pledging to root out corruption and hold all who had taken state funds accountable.


"Be careful, we have long and difficult days ahead of us. We were racing against time to prevent a collapse but the corruption, squandering (of resources) and public debt beat us."


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