Report: Lebanese Prime Minister to Resign Amid Political Fallout From Beirut Explosion

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab is expected to submit his resignation on Monday afternoon, Lebanese media reported, as the entire cabinet faces mounting pressure to step down after the massive explosion that rocked Beirut last week.

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Last week's catastrophic blast at the Beirut port has claimed more than 160 lives, and wounded 6,000. The final casualty count is unknown; Beirut's governor said many foreign workers and truck drivers remained missing and were assumed to be among the casualties, complicating efforts to identify the victims.

According to Sky News Arabia, Diab is planning to announce his resignation before the cabinet meeting slated for Monday at 3 P.M. local time (8 A.M. EST).

Lebanon’s former Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, left, arrives to attend the cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, January 22, 2020. Mohamed Azakir/ REUTERS

The disaster rekindled anti-government protests, prompting several ministers to resign, with the justice minister being the third to go.

Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, a key negotiator with the IMF over a rescue plan to help Lebanon exit a deep financial crisis plans to resign, and Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm resigned on Monday, local media reported. They join Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar, who resigned on Sunday. At least nine members of parliament have also stepped down. 

The cabinet was formed in January with the backing of the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies.

"The entire regime needs to change. It will make no difference if there is a new government," Joe Haddad, an engineer, told Reuters. "We need quick elections."