The Lebanese government has resigned as a result of mounting anger and national outrage over the explosion on Tuesday that devastated parts of Beirut and left more than 200 people dead and 6,000 injured.
Speaking during a brief televised speech, the Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that the explosion that rocked Beirut last week was caused by “endemic corruption” and called for the trial of those responsible for the deadly blast.
Mr Diab, who was appointed prime minister in January after months of deadlock, said that his government had “gone to great lengths to lay out a road map to save the country” .
But corruption in Lebanon was “bigger than the state” itself, and “a very thick and thorny wall separates us from change; a wall fortified by a class that is resorting to all dirty methods in order to resist and preserve its gains”, he said
“They knew that we pose a threat to them, and that the success of this government means a real change in this long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country,” he added.
“Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change,” Mr Diab said.
“ I am taking “a step back” to stand with the people and fight the battle for change alongside them,” he said.
“They should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years.”
“I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon.”
The announcement was made in a national TV address by Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday evening.