Lebanese Prime Minister 'resigns over explosion that killed 160'

Published by DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    Hezbollah-backed PM Hassan Diab will address the nation tonight and his own health minister Hamad Hasan says Diab is expected to step down.

    Several ministers have already walked out amid public outrage over the blast, while President Michel Aoun - who has rejected calls for an international probe into the disaster - is also facing calls to quit.

    During the session, 'most of the ministers called on the government to step down,' Sport and Youth Minister Vartine Ohanian said.

    Another minister said Diab 'is heading towards resignation'.

    Health minister Hasan added that Diab would head to the presidential palace to 'hand over the resignation in the name of all the ministers'.

    Finance minister Ghazi Wazni, a key negotiator with the IMF over a rescue plan, is believed to have gone to the cabinet meeting with a resignation letter.

    Lebanon's system is modelled on that of former colonial power France, where the president appoints the prime minister and is not required to resign along with the cabinet.

    The country's sectarian power-sharing system requires the president to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister to be a Sunni and the parliament speaker to be a Shi'ite.

    Prime minister Diab, 61, had said on Saturday that he would request early parliamentary elections.

    The personal bodyguard of top official Nabih Berry was pictured firing live rounds at protesters over the weekend as fury over the Beirut explosion threatens to spark a revolution.