Members of the Lebanese diaspora have called for a march in Beirut on Thursday, December 26, to denounce the nomination of Hassane Diab as Prime Minister. Participants plan to gather at 15:00 (local time) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants before marching to Nijmeh Square, where they plan to hold a sit-in.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected along the march route. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
On October 16-17, the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products and a daily tax on messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The announcement sparked mass protests across the country on October 17, forcing the government to revoke the tax proposal. Since, protests have evolved, calling for the resignation of the government and have continued despite an emergency reform package announced by Prime Minister Saad Hariri on October 21. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. On December 19, President Michel Aoun designated former education minister Hassan Diab to serve as the next prime minister.
Individuals in Beirut, and in Lebanon more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate transportation and business disruptions near demonstration sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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