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The whole Lebanese government resigns in the wake of Beirut blast

BEIRUT, LEBANON — On Monday, six days after the cosmic chemical blast that obliterated much of Beirut, Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his government's resignation.

Amid the violent clashes between anti-establishment protesters and the police, Diab blamed endemic corruption for the devastating explosion that sparked international outrage. The political pandemonium that ensued made the collapse of Prime minister Diab's government seem inevitable.

Demonstrators have been demanding the egress of the entire sectarian-based leadership, since October, due to the corruption, incompetence and mismanagement that is prevalent throughout its establishments.

The extent of the damage caused by the explosion is estimated to be $15 billion, leaving 300,000 people homeless. According to the Health Ministry, there were at least 160 casualties, and 6000 were wounded. Around 20 people remain missing.

On Saturday, Hassan Diab was unwilling to leave. He offered to stay on for two more months until various factions of the government decided on the reforms that needed to be made.

Nevertheless, after a series of resignations and several cabinet ministers expressing their desire to quit, Diab succumbed to pressure from within his cabinet.

"I announce the resignation of the government," Diab said at the end of a televised speech in which he exhibited regret and portrayed himself as a target of corruption and selfish political leadership.

Prime minister Hassan Diab's government was formed after his predecessor, Saad Hariri, stepped down because of pressure from the protest movement in 2019. Diab was picked after months of indecision and conflict. Now this task must be carried out again.

Lebanon is not only battling a major social crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it must do so void of any political leadership at all.

Reporter- Ananya Sreekumar

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