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Wed 30 Oct 2019 04:21 PM

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Lebanon president asks Saad Hariri to head caretaker cabinet

Michel Aoun has asked the government to continue to conduct affairs until a new cabinet is formed

Lebanon president asks Saad Hariri to head caretaker cabinet

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his cabinet's resignation on Tuesday.

Lebanon's president on Wednesday acknowledged the government's resignation following almost two weeks of unprecedented protests but asked it to stay on until a new cabinet is formed.

Michel Aoun "asked the government to continue to conduct affairs until a new cabinet is formed", his office said in a statement.

He said the measure followed the constitutional provision for cases in which the government steps down.

Prime Minister Saad 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.

Though that proposal was then scrapped, 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.