BEIRUT: Protesting over Lebanon’s economic crisis, doctors and nurses on Friday raised placards that read “we are on the verge of collapse and our situation is critical” in front of hospital entrances.
Medical staff were protesting to warn of “a health nightmare that the country has never seen before, even in the most heinous days of the civil war,” said the president of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, Suleiman Haroun.
“Importers can’t import medical supplies due to the lack of liquidity, as hospitals are facing a financial crisis and banks continue to impose restrictions on dollar transfers abroad, even for importation.”
Lebanese authorities are “facing a real crisis as a result of their failure to find solutions or to form a government to save the country,” Haroun said.
Ziad Abdel Samad, a civil society activist, told Arab News: “We’re still not sure how serious the leaks are about nominating … Mohammed Safadi as prime minister.”
His name circulated in the media on Thursday after caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri received a response from representatives of the alliance of the president, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement approving of Safadi.
Safadi is a supporter of Hariri, who resigned on Oct. 29 amid mass protests in Lebanon. In the 2018 parliamentary elections, votes for Safadi were in favor of Hariri’s electoral list. Safadi’s wife, Minister Violette Khairallah, is among the ministers who supported Hariri in the government.
The country is facing a real crisis. People in power must come up with a solution, but not one political party is capable of doing so, including Hezbollah.
Ziad Abdel Samad, civil society activist
Following the news about Safadi potentially becoming the next prime minister, protesters in his hometown Tripoli gathered in front of his house and social center to chant against him.
Abdel Samad said: “The country is facing a real crisis. People in power must come up with a solution, but not one political party is capable of doing so, including Hezbollah.”
During the past 24 hours, the army arrested protesters in various regions for trying to block roads.
Ghassan Hajjar, managing editor at An-Nahar newspaper, tweeted: “It seems like the authority has become an expert in turning people against it.”
Released protesters said they were severely beaten. Lawyers gathered in front of the Palace of Justice to object to the arrests and the prevention of those arrested from contacting a lawyer before the interrogations.
State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat met with a delegation of lawyers and told them that those still under arrest will be released.