Protesters block roads in Lebanon’s Tripoli, day after Khatib withdraws PM bid
Protesters blocked roads in Lebanon's second largest city Tripoli, in the north of the country, reported the official National News Agency (NNA) on Monday.
Demonstrations have continued since October, with protesters calling for an end to corruption and a new government.
The deadlock over who would replace caretaker Saad Hariri, who resigned as prime minister in late October, remained unresolved on Monday morning after Samir Khatib withdrew his candidacy on Sunday night. President Michel Aoun’s formal consultations with parliamentary blocs to designate a new prime minister - previously scheduled for Monday - will not go ahead and will be postponed until December 16, Al Arabiya sources confirmed.
Hariri is reportedly now the favorite to become prime minister again, despite having insisted he will not take the role. Mohammed Safadi had previously been endorsed by all major parties, but, like Khatib, backed down in the face of popular pressure from demonstrators.
Last week, Hariri issued an appeal to 'friendly' countries for aid, as the country experiences an economic crisis. A conference of the International Support Group for Lebanon is scheduled in Paris on Wednesday.
President Aoun said on Monday that he was reviewing preparations for the Paris Conference with the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis.
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