Lebanese Prime Minister proposes early elections to overcome the crisis

The Prime Minister's words come during a day of protests that have left more than a hundred people injured
Stock photography. The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Hassan Diab

PHOTO/DALATI&NOHRA  -   Stock photography. The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Hassan Diab

Lebanon's Prime Minister, Hasan Diab, today considered that the way out of this crisis is through early elections and stated that he is willing to lead a cabinet for two months to get to the polls. 

"I call on the parties to agree on the next step (...) I will propose on Monday at (the meeting of) the cabinet to call for early elections," he said in a speech to the Diab nation, which took office last December, following the resignation of Saad Hariri amidst protests that began in October against the leaders and the sectarian system in Lebanon. 

PHOTO/ AFP - Un policía muerto y 172 personas heridas en violentas protestas en Beirut
PHOTO/ AFP - A policeman killed and 172 people injured in violent protests in Beirut

Diab said he was willing to "take responsibility for two months, provided that structural reforms are undertaken to save the country ".  "We are in a state of emergency regarding the fate and future of the country," he said. 

The prime minister's words come during a day of protests that have left at least one person dead and more than a hundred injured in clashes between demonstrators and police, according to local media reports.  The clashes took place at different points mainly in front of the Parliament, where the demonstrators tried to enter without success. 

PHOTO/ AFP - Un policía muerto y 172 personas heridas en violentas protestas en Beirut
PHOTO/ AFP - A policeman killed and 172 people injured in violent protests in Beirut

They did gain access to the Foreign Ministry building - damaged during the devastating explosion in Beirut - where they entered to read a manifesto against the political class. In addition, according to the digital Al Ain, the demonstrators have also raided the ministries of economy and environment.  ​​​​​​​

Outrage has increased in recent days following Tuesday's explosion in the port of Beirut of a shipment of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that has caused at least 158 deaths and 6,000 injuries, according to the latest official count.  In his speech, the Prime Minister stressed that "all those responsible for the disaster in the port will be held accountable" for the tragedy.  "Investigating the disaster of the Beirut explosion will not take long. We are not holding on to the chair and we want a national solution that will save the country," he added. 

PHOTO/ AFP - Un policía muerto y 172 personas heridas en violentas protestas en Beirut
PHOTO/ AFP - A policeman killed and 172 people injured in violent protests in Beirut

Diab has made this announcement after about 130 people have had to receive medical attention so far as they were injured in various ways in the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in central Beirut.