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Lebanon crisis: Prime Minister al-Hariri has quit but some protesters are not done yet | #TheCube

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By The Cube
Lebanon crisis: Prime Minister al-Hariri has quit but some protesters are not done yet | #TheCube

Protesters in Lebanon have vowed to remain on the streets despite the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Hariri quit on Tuesday saying he had reached a "dead end" and a "shock" was needed to resolve the country's political crisis.

Lebanese citizens have blocked major roads across the city for the last two weeks as they demand a new government of independent experts to improve the country's worsening economic and financial conditions.

But Lebanese President Michel Aoun has asked the cabinet to continue in an incumbent capacity until a new government is formed.

Speaking to Euronews, several demonstrators expressed wary optimism at the news of Hariri's resignation, saying "we know the current political class can play tricks".

On Tuesday evening, there were scenes of celebration across Lebanon, with many demonstrators waving flags and playing music in scenes akin to a festival atmosphere.

Elie-Joe Elias Nehme, who attended celebrations in Jal El Dib, said Prime Minister Hariri had "done a good thing" in resigning because "no one's bigger than his country".

Dozens gather in Jal El Dib after PM Saad al-Hariri submits his resignation@eliejoenehme

But protestors have stressed that the resignation is only one step and "there are many more to accomplish".

The scenes of celebration were a stark contrast to other recent images of Beirut as demonstrations clash.

On Tuesday several people were injured and tents set alight in Martyr's Square, as groups of Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah and Amal movements attacked the anti-government demonstrations.

Anti-government protestors later reclaimed the streets as they continued their peaceful demonstrations against government corruption.

Ayman Mhanna, a freedom of speech campaigner in Beirut, told Euronews the resignation of Hariri is "too little, too late".

"The government has been completely deaf to the demands of the protestors for too long."

Citizens have also been demanding key reforms on electoral law and the independence of the judiciary, as well as improved basic services such as electricity and water.

Saad Hariri is likely to remain in charge of a temporary government until steps are taken to reform Lebanon's cabinet.

President Aoun is set to address the nation on Thursday, amid reports that he will not accept Prime Minister Hariri's resignation.

"It is very important to remain vigilant and remain on the streets until we have real reforms," said Mhanna.

WatchAlex Morgan's report in the video player, above.