A fifth Lebanese minister is expected to submit her letter of resignation later on Monday.
Rabat – After the protests that followed the Beirut explosion condemning the “incompetence” of Lebanon’s government, four Lebanese ministers decided to resign within 48 hours of each other.
The explosion that took place on August 4 in Beirut claimed the lives of more than 200 people and injured thousands, while dozens are still missing.
Lebanese Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad, announced her resignation on August 9, “in response to the people’s will for change.”
“It’s the point of no return, the people are hungry, the economy is collapsing … our families, our children, our parents and our friends are homeless … at this decisive moment we can only have an honorable patriotic position by their side,” said the minister before declaring her resignation.
She apologized to the Lebanese people “whose aspirations we were unable to fulfil due to the difficulty of the challenges facing us.”
Samad was the first of four Lebanese ministers to resign following the Beirut explosion.
The Environment Minister, Damianos Kattar, announced he was stepping down from the government on the same day.
“In light of the enormous catastrophe [Beirut explosion] … I have decided to hand in my resignation from government,” Kattar said.
He added that he had lost hope in a “sterile regime that botched several opportunities.”
The ministers’ decision to resign followed large protests that took place on August 8 in the Lebanese capital. Demonstrators expressed their frustration with the ongoing economic crisis that has only worsened with time, and with the deadly explosion caused by 2,750 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate.
Some protestors had the chance to meet the Lebanese Minister of Justice, Marie Claude Najm, in the streets of Beirut. They called for her resignation, as shown in a video by Lebanese television channel Al Jadeed.
Following the incident, Najm announced her decision to resign from the government on Monday, August 10, according to the Lebanese National Agency of Information (ANI).
Najm tweeted two days after the Beirut explosion to condemn the incident, calling it “an unforgivable crime.” She called for the most severe punishments against those responsible.
كارثة المرفأ جريمة لا تغتفر.
من حق الشعب اللبناني أن يعرف الحقيقة وأن يتم انزال اشد العقوبات بمن تثبت مسؤوليتهم عن الجريمة ولن اقبل بأقل من ذلك. اطلب الاستعانة بخبراء دوليين تقنيين للمساعدة في كشف الحقيقة. لا خيمة فوق رأس احد مهما بلغ مقامه#تفجير_بيروت #BeirutExplosions
— Marie-Claude Najm (@MarieClaudeNajm) August 6, 2020
The Justice Minister also called for an international inquiry, stressing that “there is no tent over anyone’s head, regardless of their standing.”
Joining the three Lebanese ministers to resign was deputy Paula Yaacoubian, who sent her resignation letter to the Secretary General of Parliament, ANI reported.
Meanwhile, a fifth minister is expected to resign. The Minister of Sports and Youth, Varty Ohanian, revealed that she is planning to submit her resignation letter to the ministerial council later on Monday, according to the same source.