Lebanon: a minister resigns after the explosion in Beirut

LEBANON – Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced on Sunday, August 9, that he was leaving the government, the first such resignation after the deadly and devastating explosion in the port of Beirut that traumatized public opinion and fueled the anger at the carelessness of the leaders.

Illustrating the magnitude of anger in the country, the same Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Béchara Raï, demanded this Sunday the resignation of the government and early legislative elections.

“We could not meet the expectations” of the Lebanese

The explosion in the port on Tuesday left at least 158 ​​dead and more than 6,000 injured, of which at least 120 are in critical condition, according to the Health Ministry, and 21 people are still missing.

“After the huge disaster in Beirut, I present my resignation from the government,” Manal Abdel Samad said in a short televised speech on Sunday. “I apologize to the Lebanese, we were unable to meet your expectations.” In recent days, several deputies have already resigned.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters angry at the ruling class accused of corruption, incompetence and negligence after the blast, briefly stormed the ministries and marched through downtown Beirut to call for revenge. They brandished makeshift pitchforks that symbolized rage against the leaders.

A “crime against humanity” for Béchara Raï

“The resignation of a deputy here, of a minister there is not enough”, launched during his Sunday sermon Cardinal Béchara Raï, quoted by his press service. “It is necessary, out of respect for the feelings of the Lebanese and because of their extremely serious responsibility, that the entire government resign, unable to move the country forward, and organize early legislative elections, instead of having a Parliament that does not fail to comply with their functions, “he added.

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“It is what can be called a crime against humanity”, launched the Maronite patriarch, who enjoys an important influence, when evoking the tragedy of the port, calling for an “international investigation” so that all those responsible for this “massacre” are responsible. .

He wonders about the reasons for the presence “of a gigantic quantity of explosive material stored for six years in the most dangerous place in the capital.” In an attempt to quell anger in the streets, disputed Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced on Saturday that he would propose early legislative elections and said he was ready to stay in power “for two months” while the political forces s’ hear.

See also in the HuffPost: In Beirut, clashes between police and anti-government protesters

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