The resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab along with his cabinet hasn’t quelled public anger in Beirut. Protesters told RT they’ll continue pushing for a “revolution” until the entire parliament steps down.
Diab announced his resignation on Monday, nearly a week after a devastating explosion ripped through Beirut, killing more than 160 people, wounding 6,000, and reducing large swathes of the Lebanese capital to rubble. Since the explosion, protesters had clamored for Diab’s resignation, after it emerged that 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in unsafe conditions by officials triggered the blast.
“People here are calling this a revolution,” RT correspondent Paula Slier said in her report on Monday night, as protesters again poured into the streets to demand change. She said protesters told her that “they’re not going to stop taking to the streets until the whole parliament itself resigns.”
Nine members of Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament have resigned since the explosion, yet the vast majority remain in office, as does President Michel Aoun. The president has the power to dissolve parliament, but needs the backing of two thirds of the cabinet to do so. Aoun accepted the government’s resignation but has asked Diab to stay in power in a caretaker capacity — and has thus far given no word on whether he’ll ask for a dissolution of parliament.
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In the meantime, tear gas once again choked the streets of Beirut on Monday night. Mobs of protesters continued to throw rocks at police, who have in recent days responded with rubber bullets as well as live ammunition. “Beirut really hasn’t witnessed scenes like these in many many years,” Slier said. “[There’s] a lot of anger, a lot of frustration,” she added.
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