Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday announced that his government is resigning “to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years.”
On August 5, a thunderous explosion in the Beirut port – Lebanon’s capital – killed at least 200 and unleased damage of property worth billions of dollars in the already battered economy of the country.
The cause of the blast was found to be a huge stock, some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which is a highly explosive material blew off sending mushroom-shaped clouds meters up in the sky and releasing shock waves that blew up windows, broke door frames and shattered light furniture in a few kilometer radii.
The blast leads to a massive anti-government public protest in Beirut, with people coming down on the streets in thousands to protest amid pandemic.
Agence France-Presse noted the resignation of the government was ‘inevitable’ after many ministers resigned in a row and whist a cabinet meeting many others made it clear to resign.
Hassan Diab’s regime was widely seen as inept, corrupt, and dominated by sectarian interests and family dynasties. “I announce the resignation of the government,” Diab said in a televised address to the nation where he painted an image of himself as a victim of a corrupt political system.
“Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change,” he said. “In the face of this reality … I am announcing today the resignation of this government,” Reuters report.
Mr. Diab insisted his cabinet had “gone to great lengths to lay out a road map to save the country” but corruption in Lebanon is “bigger than the state” itself.
“They knew that we pose a threat to them and that the success of this government means a real change in this long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country,” he added.
The parliament will now be selecting a new prime minister, which the BBC notes will be a continuation of the same sectarian politics which is the root of all discontent of the protestors.
The Lebanese power-sharing happens in between leaders of different religious group in the country which signals that a smooth transitioning to a new government is unlikely.
(Cover image courtesy of Al Jazeera News via Twitter)