Hassan Diab, Lebanese PM has resigned following Beirut burst, protests

On Monday, Lebanon’s prime minister resigned from his job as a consequence of the devastating Beirut port blast that activated the public violence, stating that he has arrived at the conclusion that corruption in Lebanon is “bigger than the state.”

In a concise televised speech following the resignation of three of his ministers, Hassan Diab, Lebanon’s PM stated that he is taking “a step back” so he can be with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.”

Diab added: “I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon,” whilst repeating the last phrase thrice. 

This step dangers clearing the way to protracted negotiations over a new Cabinet in the midst of immediate calls for reform. 

It follows a weekend of anti-government outcry as a consequence of August 4 blast in Beirut’s port that destroyed the facility and resulted in widespread devastation, causing 160 fatalities and injuring about 6,000 people. 

The moment characterized Lebanon’s political predicament. Since October, there have been mass displays demanding the withdrawal of the whole sectarian-based leadership over deep-rooted corruption, mismanagement, and unfitness. 

Diab even stated: “They (the political class) should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years,” 

“I have discovered that corruption is bigger than the state and the state is paralyzed by this (ruling) clique and cannot confront if or get rid of it,” Diab added, who previously worked as a professor at the American University of Beirut before he took the job. 

Even though Diab’s resignation came in inevitable following the misfortune, he seemed disinclined to leave and just two days earlier had made a televised speech in which he offered to stay in the position for another two months to enable different factions to affirm on a plan of action for amendments. On the other hand, the internal pressure from his own Cabinet proved to be much more powerful. 

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