7. Newspaper headline reading (Arabic): "The resignation is the gate for consensus"
8. Man reading newspaper
9. Close up of newspaper
10. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Naim Saleh, resident
"The situation is getting worse and worse because we are moving from a security vacuum into a constitutional one, this is all because the division between the sects and the people is also affecting the government."
Beirut residents on Saturday awoke to a constitutional vacuum in the country's government, a day after the prime minister resigned as a sign of protest against government infighting.
Najib Mikati stepped down on Friday after the parliament was unable to agree on a law to govern elections set for later this year. He also objected to the Cabinet's refusal to extend the tenure of the country's police chief, who is about to retire.
Underpinning the political crisis are Lebanon's hugely sectarian politics and the fact that the country's two largest political blocs support opposite sides in Syria's civil war.
Lebanon and Syria share a complex network of political and sectarian ties, and many fear that violence in Syria will spread to Lebanon.
"The situation is getting worse and worse because we are moving from a security vacuum into a constitutional one, this is all because the division between the sects and the people is also affecting the government," said Beirut resident Naim Saleh.
There were signs of rising tensions before Mikati's speech.
Gunmen who support and oppose Syrian President Bashar Assad clashed on Friday in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, leaving six people dead and more than 20 wounded, according to state-run National News Agency.
Clashes between the Sunni neighbourhood of Bab Tabbaneh, which supports Syria's rebels, and the adjacent Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen, which supports Assad, have broken out repeatedly in recent months.
Also in Tripoli, the Lebanese army said a soldier was killed and several others wounded during an army raid to capture several gunmen.
Mikati's resignation follows months of political wrangling in the Lebanese parliament that has yet to agree on a law to govern parliamentary elections planned for June.
The failure to agree on a law could delay the vote.
Also, the Hezbollah-dominated Cabinet has refused to extend the tenure of Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, Lebanon's police chief, who is considered a foe by the Islamic militant group.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman must accept Mikati's resignation for it to be official, a step that is all but a formality.
Mikati has been prime minister since June 2011, heading a government dominated by Hezbollah and its allies.
Their main rivals are a Western-backed coalition headed by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, who was also Prime Minister and killed in a truck bombing in 2005.
A Harvard-educated billionaire, Mikati was chosen to lead the government after Hezbollah forced the collapse of Lebanon's previous, pro-Western government over fears a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the killing of the elder Hariri would indict Hezbollah members.