Lebanon's Government Announces Resignation Following Beirut Blast

Published August 10th, 2020 - 05:01 GMT
A Lebanese protester waves a national flag amid clashes with security forces in central Beirut on August 10, 2020. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab will announce his government's resignation imminently over the backlash from the deadly Beirut port explosion. JOSEPH EID / AFP
A Lebanese protester waves a national flag amid clashes with security forces in central Beirut on August 10, 2020. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab will announce his government's resignation imminently over the backlash from the deadly Beirut port explosion. JOSEPH EID / AFP
Highlights
“The system of corruption is greater than the state,” Diab said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government Monday, almost one week after the devastating blast that tore through the capital, and as political and popular pressure mounted.

“I announce the resignation of my government ... May God protect Lebanon,” Diab said during a televised address to the Lebanese.

“The system of corruption is greater than the state,” Diab said, adding that one of the examples of corruption exploded at the Beirut Port.”

Diab said political forces should have cooperated to help Lebanon and its people, but that some are living in another time and do not care about what happened, all they care about is scoring political points and giving populist speeches.

Diab’s announcement came after the information and environment ministers previously resigned individually, threatening the collapse of the government as per the Lebanese Constitution if five more had resigned.


According to local media, President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri were not pleased with Diab’s announcement during a speech Saturday that he would propose holding early parliamentary elections, as he had not informed them or discussed the issue with them.

Diab was appointed as prime minister in late December after nationwide protests toppled the previous Cabinet, and formed a one-sided government in January backed by the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Marada Movement.

He had promised the Lebanese that he would form a government of “independent technocrats,” however it was evident during the countless instances that ministers answered to political parties.

During Diab’s term, Lebanon’s economy severely declined, the Lebanese pound devalued over 80 percent, poverty and inflation rates rose, the country defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time in history, the Coronavirus pandemic hit Lebanon and, this week, a devastating blast hit Beirut killing 160 people.

An economic collapse was looming when Diab became prime minister, and decades of mismanagement and corruption had started to plunge Lebanon into a multitude of crises.

During President Michel Aoun’s term, three governments have come to power and resigned: Tammam Salam, Saad Hariri and Hassan Diab.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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