Lebanese government resigns
Lebanon’s government resigned on Monday as the prime minister blamed “political corruption” for a massive explosion at Beirut’s port that killed more than 160 people and devastated the capital.
“I discovered that the system of corruption is bigger than the state,” Hassan Diab, prime minister, said in an address, blaming resistance by entrenched political elites for his lack of reforms.
Lebanese government resigns
His resignation came amid intensifying anger among Lebanese people towards their leaders, whom many blamed for last week’s blast. The explosion was caused by more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which can be used as a fertiliser but also for explosives. It had been stored at the port for six years.
Lebanese government resigns
Public fury spilled on to the streets over the weekend as thousands of people, some erecting scaffolds to hang effigies of their leaders, called for regime change. But many Lebanese are likely to question whether the resignations will bring genuine change to what they perceive to be a rotten political system.
Mr Diab took office in January after mass protests last year forced the previous government to resign. But his administration failed to tackle Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in decades, with the financial sector in a state of disarray and food prices and poverty levels soaring.