On August 4, the capital of Lebanon experienced a tragedy comparable to that of a civil war with two subsequent explosions rocking Central Beirut and its neighboring cities.
Anger brew among the people of Lebanon, seeking justice and accountability from the government, after having knowledge about the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left neglected for years at Hanger 12 inside the Beirut port.
The country has since been suffering from an economic crisis, along with fighting the global coronavirus pandemic. The Beirut explosion added so much fuel to the blazing issues of Lebanon, which caused at least 171 lives and thousands of left injured.
Now, The New York Times highlights that the country faces a “new political uncertainty” after a few members of the Cabinet resigned from their positions on Monday. Prime Minister Hassan Diab then followed suit.
CNN notes that three Cabinet ministers stepped down, along with seven members of the Parliament.
PM Diab had a televised address recently, saying, “We are taking a step back to stand with the people, to wage the battle for change with them.” He is reportedly blaming his “political foes” for “thwarting his efforts to fix Lebanon’s problems.”
In his address, Diab spoke of the grave corruption that is deep-seated in the roots of the state. He further expressed:
“I discovered that the system of corruption was bigger than the state and that the state is bound by this system, and that it is not possible to confront it or get rid of it.”
The Guardian quotes Diab from the same speech, saying:
“A political class is using all their dirty tricks to prevent real change. The more we tried to get to them, the bigger the walls became. This disaster is the result of chronic corruption.”
He then repeats, “The corruption network is bigger than the state.”
It should be noted that information came into light after the explosion, noting that the judiciary allegedly failed to act in securing the confiscated dangerous materials away from the Beirut port. Letters from the port and customs officials were uploaded online, seeking guidance for the proper disposal of the ammonium nitrate.
Diab has only been in power as the Prime Minister since December after an “uprising brought down the previous government.” While the Lebanese people await for its third prime minister in a year, Diab will act with a “caretaker capacity.”
However, reports have it that the search will take a while and that political paralysis is expected in the meantime.
The resignation of the Prime Minister, the members of the Cabinet and the Parliament are not enough, according to one of the protesters quoted by The New York Times.
“The government resignation is not enough,” said Ahmed el-Mohamed to the publication. “We have to bring down the president and the speaker of Parliament. It’s a matter of days, and well do it.”
Featured image courtesy of Hiba Al Kallas/Shutterstock
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