Lebanese demonstrators in protest squares across the country have rejected the reform plan announced by Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday, stressing that they remain in the street.
After Hariri's speech, protesters marched in large numbers to the slogans of "The people want to overthrow the regime."
Civilian activist Salem al-Ghosh, who was involved in organizing the protests, said the adoption of reform clauses so quickly demonstrates the corruption of the ruling class.
He asked: Why did not these reforms in the first place? He stressed the demonstrators' adherence to stay in the squares until the departure of all the ruling class.
In Tripoli in the north, journalist Ghassan Farran said the reform paper was unconvincing, and "we will not get out of the squares," noting that demonstrations in the north are escalating, especially after Hariri's press conference.
The revolution remains
From Riad Solh Square in central Beirut, the protesters shouted after Hariri 's speech, confirming their adherence to staying in the street, including "Mishrh we go back home", "Mish Hanakhli revolution die."
Hariri had announced on Monday the approval of the Council of Ministers for the budget of 2020 without new taxes, with the adoption of several items described as reform, including reducing the salaries of deputies and ministers, and the abolition of the Ministry of Information and other institutions, in an attempt to absorb the anger of the street.
But the demonstrator, Ahmed al-Zein, said the reform paper was just a new morphine injection "and we will not bite the same hole twice."
The same position was adopted by activist Ali Houhou, who participates in the demonstrations in Barja area in central Lebanon.He said that the reform paper is a continuation of corruption, because the government intends to privatize the telecommunications sector, which generates treasury profits, while not privatizing the electricity sector, which has a large deficit.
An army force headed to the international road linking several Lebanese cities in an attempt to negotiate with the protesters to open the road, but to no avail.
Since Thursday evening, Lebanon has witnessed angry demonstrations at several points in Beirut and other cities, after the government announced the inclusion of new taxes in the budget next year, affecting the free telecommunications sector via mobile phones and others, in order to provide new revenues to the state treasury.
Despite the government's retreat from these taxes, protesters continued to rally in the streets, demanding the overthrow of the ruling class and an end to sectarian quotas.
For its part, Lahci's civil campaign issued a statement expressing its rejection of the Hariri plan.
"There is no confidence, no confidence in your reforms, your approach and the mentality of your system. We reject the government's unrealistic, loose and misguided reforms to buy time and procrastinate," she said.
She stressed that it will not back down "until the overthrow of the government of unfair taxes and sectarian quotas and fulfill all demands."
In the southern city of Sidon, one of the protesters read a speech in the name of the protesters, saying: "Your promises are not enough. Unless you have done 30 years, you will not be able to fulfill it within 72 hours."
Earlier, President Michel Aoun considered that the protests throughout the country reflect the pain of the people, but said it is unfair to accuse all politicians of corruption.