Lebanon PM Hassan Diab resigns less than a week after deadly Beirut explosion

Prime Minister Hassan Diab hands in resignation to President Michel Aoun, Aug. 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation Monday after thousands of protesters took to the streets of Beirut in the days after the deadly Beirut explosion.

Diab announced his resignation after four ministers had already stepped down from their posts. In a televised speech, Diab said that "corruption is bigger than the state."

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Diab said his government "fought fiercely and honorably," and he accused unnamed opponents of preventing the government from carrying out any reforms or progress. "We were alone, and they were all against us."

Over 150 people were killed and more than 6,000 others were injured in the capital last Tuesday when a warehouse storing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded after catching on fire.

The explosion destroyed entire buildings and shattered windows, leaving an estimated 300,000 people in Beirut homeless.

Diab said the port explosions “occurred as a result of chronic corruption in politics, administration and the State.”

A large part of Diab’s speech was directed at “some” who he said sought “to score political points, deliver populist electoral discourse, and demolish the lingering State’s presence.”

Diab's resignation was later accepted by President Michel Aoun, who asked the current government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new one is formed. This is the third government under Aoun since he was elected in 2016.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 KSA 07:33 - GMT 04:33
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