Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

2 Lebanese ministers and 9 lawmakers resign days after deadly explosion

Lebanon protesters

Anti-government protesters in Beirut. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lebanon’s information and environment ministers resigned Sunday in the wake of massive protests over the deadly blast in Beirut's port last week, per AP.

Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.

"Given the magnitude of the catastrophe caused by the Beirut earthquake that shook the nation and hurt our hearts and minds, and in respect for the martyrs, and the pains of the wounded, missing and displaced, and in response to the public will for change, I resign from the government."
— Excerpt from Abdel-Samad's resignation letter
  • Public outrage has grown in recent days as protesters have taken to the streets, blaming the political ruling class for the corruption and negligence that allowed 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate to be left unsecured near the city's port for more than six years.
  • Environment Minister Demanios Kattar said while resigning late Sunday that the ruling system was "flaccid and sterile," per AP.

Of note: Al Jazeera reports that nine members of parliament have also resigned over the explosion, which killed 160 people and injured some 6,000 others.

What to expect: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a televised speech Saturday he intends to propose early elections and would give all political parties two months to work on structural reforms.

Go deeper: What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the latest resignations.

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