A senior ministerial source told CNN that he believed the government would sit on guardianship status until Monday evening. Three cabinet ministers have already left, along with seven members of parliament.
Lebanon was already suffering from its worst economic crisis in decades, coupled with rising coronavirus levels, and the government was plagued by allegations of corruption and gross mismanagement.
Tuesday’s blast, which damaged or destroyed much of the Lebanese capital and was linked to a neglected storm of potentially explosive chemicals, was the last straw for many Beirut residents.
Now the country will have the task of finding a third prime minister in less than a year to fight the spiral crises facing Lebanon on a number of fronts.
The Lebanese currency has lost 70% of its value since the start of anti-government protests in October. Poverty has risen, with the World Bank predicting that more than half the country’s population would be impoverished by 2020.
Lebanon’s financial problems were exacerbated earlier this year by blockades imposed by the government, which were set up to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but also brought the country’s potential economy to a sharp halt.
Diab ministers had repeatedly accused the ruling class of thwarting their reform plans. Politicians affiliated with the country’s banking elite torpedoed the IMF-backed government economic program, which was expected to plunge into bank profits.