The Lebanon's president, Michel Aoun, has called on citizens to work together for unity over plans for reform, and warned of the danger of division, AFP reported on Sunday November 3rd.
Struggling Lebanon has faced unprecedented cross-sectarian demonstrations since October 17th, which forced the Prime Minster Saad Al-Hariri’s government to resign, after failing to address the protesters’ demands for a complete overhaul of the political system, and for fighting widespread corruption.
Aoun, 84, has urged his supporters and opponents alike, to unite behind the proposed reform plan, saying a roadmap had been drawn up to tackle corruption, redress the economy, and put together a civil government.
“I call on you all to unite. It won't be easy, and we want your efforts”, said Aoun in a live televised address to thousands of his supporters thronging the road outside the presidential palace in Beirut.
The Maronite Christian state leader warned against having "one protest against another," after clashes between protesters and other supporters of parties represented in the government, especially Hezbollah, the powerful political party and militant group.
But protesters have defied Aoun’s messages and have vowed to press ahead with their demands.
They have called for an end to Aoun's tenure, as well as drastic change to a political system dominated by the same figures and families since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.
After Al-Hariri’s government resignation it is not clear what a new cabinet will look like, and if it will include independent technocrats, as demanded by demonstrators.
Some Lebanese banks re-opened on Friday November 1st, after around two weeks of closure.
The country's economic growth has stalled in recent years, in the wake of repeated political crises, compounded by an eight-year civil war in neighbouring Syria.