Lebanese Government Quits Amid Protest
Monday, February 28, 2005
(SNN) In Lebanon, Prime Minister Omar Karami’s pro-Syrian government has resigned. This follows a demonstration in downtown Beirut by tens of thousands or protesters. Some say that this is the result of political pressure brought on by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, one of Lebanon’s most popular political figures.
There were an estimated 10,000 to 60,000 Lebanese citizens in the streets
There were an estimated 10,000 to 60,000 Lebanese citizens in the streets, defying a ban against demonstrations. The demonstrators broke into singing the national anthem upon hearing the news of the resignation. They handed red roses to police and soldiers and yelled “Syria Out”.
Karami expects God will preserve Lebanon
This resignation follows a growing movement amongst the Lebanese legislature for a no confidence vote in Karami’s government. In announcing the resignation of his government, Karami said it was an honor to head the government and he expects God will preserve Lebanon. He added that the protesters could “Have the damn country if you think you can do a better job.” He also suggested that his successor “should be prepared to kiss a whole lot of Syrian ass.”
Syria’s immediate reaction was non-committal, claiming that it was Lebanon’s internal affair. Despite increasing pressure on them from the U.S. to remove their troops, Syria denied any involvement in the resignation of the pro-Syrian government. Many have stated that this would be an ideal time for Syria to start pulling its 15,000 troops out of Lebanon, in case Syria is the target of the mid-term election invasion.