Lebanon’s Prime Minister announces resignation over last week’s Beirut explosion
BEIRUT – The government has resigned over last week’s deadly explosion at the port of Beirut which claimed over 160 lives, saying he has come to the conclusion that corruption in Lebanon is “bigger than the state itself and impossible to face or get rid of it”. Several ministers have stepped down already including the justice Minister. Protesters are demanding major reform as the country faces an unprecedented economic crisis. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that he is taking “a step back so that he can stand with the people and fight the battle for change alongside”.
A judge on Monday questioned the heads of the country’s security agencies. Public prosecutor Ghassan El Khoury questioned Maj. Gen. Tony Saliba, the head of state security, according to state-run National News Agency.
BREAKING: #Lebanon PM Hassan Diab resigns.
He accused the political class for trying to shift blame for economic crisis and corruption on his Cabinet.
"I said that corruption is rooted in every part of the state. But I found out that corruption is greater than the state."
— Kareem Chehayeb | كريم (@chehayebk) August 10, 2020
In a brief televised speech, he said “I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon” repeating the last phrase three times. He also blamed earlier politicians for the earthquake that had hit Lebanon a few years back. “They (the political class) should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years. today we follow the will of 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 added.
The concern that the Western countries might exploit anger over the explosion that took at the port of Beirut, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “it was natural for people to be frustrated, but it would be unacceptable is some individuals, groups and foreign countries use the incident as a pretext for their purposes and intentions”. On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz drew a line between the explosion and claims that Hezbollah stores its rockets and weapons deep inside civilian areas. He also accused Hazbollah of being the biggest problem for Lebanon.
On Sunday, World leaders and International Organizations pledged nearly 300 Million Dollars in emergency humanitarian aid to Beirut.