Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said during a televised address on Saturday that an early election would be the only way out of a structural crisis facing the country following a massive explosion in the port of Beirut that left at least 154 people dead and thousands more wounded.
“I call upon all the political parties to agree on the next phase –and they don’t have a lot of time – I am ready to take on this responsibility for a period of two months so they can reach an agreement,” he said.
Massive protests have erupted in Beirut following the explosion, as demonstrators call on the government to be punished for the negligence that they say led to the deadly blast.
Newly surfaced documents show authorities from Lebanon’s customs, military, security agencies and judiciary raised the alarm at least 10 times in the past six years over a massive stockpile of explosive chemicals that was being kept at the port in Beirut with no safeguards in place.
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up, obliterating the city’s main commercial hub.
The explosion came at a time when Lebanon has been mired in its worst financial crisis in a decade.
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