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Prime Minister of Lebanon and entire government steps down

Prime Minister of Lebanon and entire government steps down

The Lebanon’s Prime Minister and entire government has reportedly stepped down in a wake of Beirut blast which occurred on Tuesday August 4, destroying a large portion of the capital Beirut and killing over 160 people.

Lebanon had already suffered from a bad economic crisis coupled with rising rates of Coronavirus. Accusations of corruption and gross mismanagement have plagued the Lebanese Administration.

After it was reported that the bomb explosion was connected to a long-forgotten stockpile of explosive chemicals stored at a port in Beirut, the government faced significant criticism.

The blast triggered days of violent protest as dozens of protesters hurled stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces that reacted with many rounds of tear gas, contributing to the resignation last week of three cabinet ministers and seven parliamentarians.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab, speaking to the nation in Beirut on Monday night, declared his resignation, and that of his cabinet, calling the blast “a tragedy beyond measure.”

In his address, Diab berated the ruling political elite in Lebanon for rising “a corruption apparatus bigger than the state.”
“We fought valiantly and with honor,” he said, referring to his cabinet members.

“There’s a major strong barrier between us and change.”

He likened the explosion to a “country rocking earthquake” that caused his government to resign. “We agreed to stand by the people,” he said.

In December, Diab, a self-styled reformer, became PM, two months after the downfall of the previous government.

Major political parties, including the Iran-backed political and militant group Hezbollah, have supported his government.

More than half of the country’s population is expected to become poor by 2020, according to the World Bank, as Lebanon ‘s currency has lost around 70 per cent of its value since anti-government protests started last October.

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