Posted By: jensingr
Date: Monday, 10-Aug-2020 13:52:58
Lebanese PM steps down in wake of Beirut explosion, protests
By BASSEM MROUE38 minutes ago
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s prime minister stepped down from his job on Monday in the wake of the disastrous Beirut port explosion that triggered public fury, saying he has come to the conclusion that corruption in Lebanon is “bigger than the state.”
In a brief televised speech after three of his ministers resigned, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that he is taking “a step back” so he can stand with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.”
“I declare today the resiggnation of this government. May God protect Lebanon,” he said, repeating the last phrase three times.
The move risks opening the way to dragged-out negotiations over a new Cabinet amid urgent calls for reform. It follows a weekend of anti-government protests in the wake of the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that decimated the facility and caused widespread destruction, killing at least 160 people and injured about 6,000 others.
The moment typified Lebanon’s political dilemma. Since October, there have been mass demonstrations demanding the departure of the entire sectarian-based leadership over entrenched corruption, incompetence and mismanagement.