Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Wednesday said the ongoing protests in Tripoli might have been stirred by “sides seeking to address political messages” but he urged the state to provide assistance to poor families affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Sides seeking to address political messages might be behind the protests in Tripoli and there might be sides exploiting people’s pain and the economic hardship of the poor and low-income people,” Hariri said in a tweet.
He added: “And certainly nothing can justify attacks on private property, markets and official institutions under the excuse of protesting the lockdown decision, but this does not negate the fact that there are segments of citizens who are looking for their daily bread.”
“In the face of this, it is not proper for the state to stand idly by and not compensate the poor and needy families,” Hariri went on to say.
“I warn our people in Tripoli and the various regions against any exploitation of their social conditions and I call on the state and the competent ministries to utilize all possible means to rein in poverty and hunger and provide the social requirements for citizens’ commitment to the lockdown decision,” the PM-designate urged.
He also noted that the lockdown is aimed at “protecting citizens from the coronavirus danger,” emphasizing that “abiding by it is a responsibility that should not be neglected.”