Beirut, the government resigns, demonstrations continue
Hassan Diab's decision comes after days of violent demonstrations following the explosions in Beirut port. The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud has updated the toll of the August 4 disaster: 220 dead and 110 missing; 6 thousand wounded. The country risks "economic, social and political collapse".
Beirut (AsiaNews) - With a televised message at 19.30 last night, the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab stepped down en masse. The decision was made after days of violent demonstrations following the explosions in Beirut port.
Demonstrators blamed the country's leaders, their negligence and corruption as responsible for the explosions.
Beirut governor, Marwan Abboud updated the figures of the disaster of 4 August: 220 dead and 110 missing; 6 thousand wounded. The victims include many foreign workers and truck drivers operating in the port.
Diab was appointed last January, and was to be prime minister of a technical government, capable of putting the country's economy back on its feet and restoring confidence in the government in the face of popular anger over corruption, ineptitude and private interests of the political class.
Two days ago, Diab had asked for at least "another two months" to implement some reforms, but the increasingly violent demonstrations and the resignations of many of his ministers forced him to throw in the towel.
In his speech he defended the good work of his government, but also said that corruption in the country as “a wall fortified by a class that is resorting to all dirty methods in order to resist and preserve its gains".
The international community is following developments closely. The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, called for the "rapid formation" of a new government that responds to the needs of the population and that responds to the country's main challenges, "especially the reconstruction of Beirut and reforms, without which the country is heading towards economic, social and political collapse”.