Politics, Middle East

Lebanese premier to introduce bill for early elections

Prime Minister Hassan Diab announces he will put forward early election bill in Cabinet meeting on Monday

Abdelrahman Fathy Ramadan Mohamed and Gulsen Topcu   | 08.08.2020
Lebanese premier to introduce bill for early elections

BEIRUT

Lebanon's prime minister on Saturday announced he will put forward an early election bill in the Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Due to protests in central Beirut, in the Martyrs' Square, against the economic crisis, the roads leading to the parliament building have been closed for months with barriers.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab spoke to the press while the protests continued.

"I will put forward early election bill in the Cabinet meeting on Monday," said Diab, adding that the country has been going through an extraordinary process.

Calling out to all political parties to come to terms, "We don't have a lot of time, I will take the responsibility until all political parties come to an understanding," Diab added.

Diab said the port blast in Beirut was a result of bad administration and corruption going on for years, adding: "Everyone responsible for the blast will be held accountable for their crimes. This disaster will not go unpunished. The investigation will be enhanced to cover everyone related to the blast," he added.

Political issues should be left aside and national responsibility should be taken, according to the prime minister.

According to the Lebanese Health Ministry, at least 158 people have died so far and over 6,000 are injured since Tuesday’s explosion ravaged parts of the Lebanese capital.

The numbers, though, are likely to rise as efforts continue to find missing people.

The tragedy has come at a time when Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis, including a dramatic drop in the value of the pound against the dollar.

* Writing by Firdevs Bulut in Ankara.

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