BEIRUT—The Prime Minister of Lebanon Hassan Diab and his cabinet announced today they will step down from office.
In his August 10th televised speech, Diab said he would take “a step back” in order to “fight the battle for change alongside [the Lebanese citizens].”
Diab’s cabinet declared their resignation earlier today.
These resignations follow the most violent weekend in the city in nearly a year.
Demonstrators threw stones and broken glass at security forces in an effort to occupy several government buildings. Police fired back hundreds of rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, and live fire.
These anti-government and anti-ruling elite protests were sparked by Beirut’s August 4th explosion in which 160 people died, 6,000 people were injured, and 300,000 people were left homeless.
The blast incurred between $10 Billion and $15 Billion in damages.
Diab blamed last week’s explosion on the corrupt politicians who preceded him: “They should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years.”
Despite violent political unrest over the past week, Diab seemed unlikely to immediately resign. In a televised speech he made on August 8th he offered to stay in office for two months to allow the country’s factions to agree on a reformation plan.
Diab is the third Lebanese prime minister to serve in less than a year.
Diab’s regime was established in October after mass demonstrations throughout the country in which it was demanded that the previous sectarian-based leadership resign for their alleged corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement charges. His cabinet consisted of technocrats and he was supported by major political parties, one of which was Hezbollah, the Iran-backed political and militant group.
Since last October, the Lebanese Pound, the country’s currency, has lost 70% of its value and the World Bank projects that more than half of the country’s population will become impoverished in 2020.