President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation of Hassan Diab and his ministers, but asked them to continue to carry out their duties until a new government is formed.
The explosion last Tuesday in a warehouse in the port of Beirut not only caused the death of at least 200 people and thousands of injuries. The devastating outbreak also exposed the great social and political crisis that Lebanon is going through. This Monday, after several days of massive demonstrations against the political class, Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his entire cabinet resigned.
Faced with this situation, Parliament will now have to debate the formation of a new Government. Process that involves the same traditional political class that the protesters demand their resignation. “Everyone means everyone,” remarked the protesters, in a clear message that their demands are not only directed at the Diab government.
The other scenario that would be being evaluated at this time is the advancement of parliamentary elections. Even the now former prime minister had assured over the weekend that he was willing to stay two months in office until the organization of early elections.
However, strong social pressure, and the mass resignations of several of his ministers, led Diab to take the same path.
“I hope the period is not long because the country cannot bear it. Let’s hope that a new government will be formed quickly , ” the Minister of Public Works, Michel Najjar , told the press . “An effective government is the minimum we need to get out of this crisis,” he said.
The President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, accepted the resignation of the Government presented this Monday by Prime Minister Diab, and asked him to remain in office until the formation of a new Executive.
“President Aoun thanked Diab and the ministers and asked them to continue to carry out their duties until a new government is formed,” the Lebanese Presidency said on its official Twitter account.
This government that presented itself as a team of technocrats had to negotiate portfolios with only one political camp, the Shiite Hezbollah movement and its allies, especially the presidential party, the Free Patriotic Current (CPL).
Part of the international community also called for changes in the Lebanese political system. During his visit to Beirut last week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on that country’s authorities for firm political initiatives to fight corruption and impose transparency . “Our role is to be at the side of Beirut and the Lebanese people,” said the president, who reiterated his demand for reforms and urged to do “everything” to prevent “violence and chaos” from reigning because, in his opinion, ” at this moment the future of Lebanon and that of the entire region is at stake ”.
In his speech addressed to the entire nation on Monday to announce his resignation, Diab, who presents himself as an independent, blamed the traditional political class for his failure, and lashed out at the “corruption” that led to this “earthquake that hit the country ”.
“The catastrophe that affected the Lebanese in the heart (…) occurred because of endemic corruption in politics, administration and in the State (…) I discovered that institutional corruption was stronger than the State”, said the former prime minister, who barely held the position for seven months.
Almost a week after the explosion, the Lebanese authorities accused of corruption and incompetence by the citizenry still did not clearly answer the question that everyone is asking: why was a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate stored in the port? from the Lebanese capital?
What caused the catastrophe was a fire in a warehouse where 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years without “precautionary measures”, as recognized by Prime Minister Diab.
After what happened, thousands of protesters took to the streets every day demanding justice and holding the political class accountable. The weekend saw moments of tension when the security forces suppressed the protests.
About 20 people have been detained after the explosion , including the head of Lebanon’s customs department and his predecessor, as well as the head of the port. Dozens of people have been questioned, including two former cabinet ministers, according to government officials.
On Sunday, world leaders and international organizations pledged nearly $ 300 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Beirut, but warned that no money would be available to rebuild the capital until the Lebanese authorities commit to the required political and economic reforms. through the village.