Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm, who was sprayed with water and verbally assaulted last week on her way to a damaged area, resigned to the prime minister on Monday, the media agency said. hurry. She was the third cabinet minister to resign following the explosion.
A cabinet meeting is scheduled for Monday amid speculation the government could resign en masse. If a total of seven of the 20 ministers resigned, the cabinet would effectively become an interim government. At least nine parliamentarians have resigned.The August 4 explosion killed at least 160 people, injured around 6,000, destroyed the country’s main port and damaged large parts of the capital. Losses related to the explosion are estimated at between 10 and 15 billion dollars. Nearly 300,000 people became homeless immediately afterwards.
The explosion was reportedly caused by a fire that has ignited a stockpile of explosives stored at the port since 2013. The disaster has been largely blamed on years of corruption and neglect on the part of the established political leaders who rule Lebanon since. the 1975-1990 civil war.
About 20 people were arrested because of the explosion, including the head of the Lebanese customs service and his predecessor, as well as the head of the port. Dozens of people were questioned, including two former ministers, according to government officials.
The investigation focuses on how 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilizers, were stored in a warehouse at the port for six years, and why nothing was done about it despite the warnings.
State security had drawn up a report on the dangers of storing equipment in the port and sent a copy to the offices of the president and prime minister on July 20.
On Sunday, world leaders and international organizations pledged nearly $ 300 million in emergency humanitarian aid in Beirut, but warned that no money for the capital’s reconstruction would be made available while Lebanese authorities did not engage in the political and economic reforms demanded by the people.
Protesters clashed with security forces over the past two days in Beirut. Protesters attribute the explosion and severe economic crisis to the ruling elite and call for sweeping political change. Similar protests last fall failed after several weeks.
Iran has expressed concern that Western countries and their allies will seek to exploit the anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Iran supports the militant group Hezbollah, which, along with its allies, dominates the government and parliament.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said it was natural for people to be frustrated, but said it would be “unacceptable for some foreign individuals, groups and countries to use the incident as a source of frustration.” pretext for their purposes and intentions.