Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister.
Lebanon’s prime minister resigned Monday due to public fury over official negligence that led to an explosion so massive that it devastated swaths of the capital.
According to the Washington Post; Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a telivised address that a level of corruption “bigger than the state” precipitated the events that led to the blast, which erupted in a warehouse that contained 2750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored there for years despite repeated warnings that it was unsafe.
When Diab announced his resignation, there was little celebration among demonstrators in Beirut’s central Martyrs’ Square. Protesters thronged the downtown streets for a third day as security forces used tear gas to push them back. The Lebanese Red Cross said it had taken seven demonstrators to the hospital and treated 38 at the scene.
Decades of corruption and mismanagement had already left Lebanon in the throes of economic calamity. The value of the currency shattering and hundreds of thousands of Lebanese sinking below or close to the poverty line in a matter of weeks. The explosion caused widespread damage to Beirut’s port and destroyed the country’s main grain silo at a time when reserves are low and some food prices have already tripled in the space of a year.
Over the weekend, protesters have clashed with security forces and occupied state ministries. They have also hanged nooses in a public square and demanded the death penalty for members of the ruling elite.
“The government has resigned, but it’s not about the government,” said a demonstrator in his early 20’s on Monday, his eyes streaming from tear gas and bandages on his head and leg from wounds inflicted in blast last week.
“The government has been here six months, but the problems have been here 30 years,” he said, declining to be named for fears it might impact his employment. “This political class needs to go.”He said he wanted the parliament and president to resign and a new electoral law.
People with ties to the government said Diab had lost the support of powerful politicians who had originally backed his government. These politicians feared he was going too far in investigating corruption that had allowed the ammonium nitrate to remain in the port warehouse for the past six years.
“The system realized that he was going to investigate the port properly,” said an adviser to Diab government.