Diab and Aoun meet to discuss government formation
- PM designate Hassan Diab held a two hour meeting in Baabda Palace With President Michel Aoun, to discuss the formation of government.
- Reports suggest that Diab will propose a cabinet made up of 18 ministers, all independent specialists.
- Meanwhile, a Hezbollah delegation visiting Patriarch Bechara al Rahi in Bkerki said that the party will give its support to this upcoming cabinet that can save the Lebanese economy. “This government will not have “[just] one political color”, Sheikh Mohamad Amro said, speaking on behalf of the delegation. He added that it was still too soon to discuss potential names.
On day 73, Tripoli denounces the banks, Diab, Hariri, and Bassil
- In spite of dire weather, snow, and heavy rainfall, protests persisted for 73rd day.
- In Tripoli, demonstrators held a protest through the streets of the city and in Nour Square. In a series of posters to promote their protest, demonstrators objected to the designation of Hassan Diab, reiterated their rejection of Saad Hariri as PM, and denounced Gebran Bassil’s alleged role in forming the new government.
- In Beirut, several protesters gathered under Diab’s apartment to reject his designation and affirm that they did not consider him politically independent. In Sidon, protesters gathered in front of the central bank, in rejection of its financial policies.
Army promotions stalled, Bou Saab blames sectarianism
- After meeting with President Michel Aoun in Baabda Palace, caretaker Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab complained Friday that the promotion 126 army colonels was being stalled due to an “imbalance in the sectarian division of promotions” within the Internal Security Forces and General Security. He accused caretaker Prime Minister Hariri of not meeting with him to solve the issue.
- Later in the evening, however, Hariri signed the promotions decree, according to the press office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. LBCI reported that the issue remains unresolved as several promotions were not included in the decree.
Storm Loulou: snow-blocked roads and refugee camp flooded
- In Akkar, Storm Loulou brought heavy rainfall, causing entire neighborhoods as well as Syrian refugee camps to flood. Residents moved to temporary tents as relief workers and the Lebanese Red Cross continue to provide assistance throughout the storm, the Daily Star reported.
- At higher altitudes, heavy snow blocked roads as authorities worked on reopening them. Crops were also damaged by heavy winds, especially in the South.
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