Maronite Church Calling For International Probe, Gov’t Resignation, And Early Elections

Maronite Church Calling For International Probe, Gov't Resignation, And Early Elections
Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser | Elizabeth Fitt/SIPA

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi is adding his voice to the ones calling for the resignation of the Lebanese government.

In a Sunday sermon, Al-Rahi called on the government to step down following the disastrous explosion that struck Beirut on August 4th, which he said could be described as “a crime against humanity.”

In the wake of the shocking blast, “it is not enough for a lawmaker to resign here or a minister to resign there,” the country’s top Christian cleric stated.

Instead, he finds it a necessity for the entire government to resign, “out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the immense responsibility required … because [the government] is incapable of moving the country forward.”

The fate of the government has been hanging by a string ever since Beirut’s sky was dramatically stained by the brownish smoke that once again showed great recklessness on the part of the state.

With resignation apparently looming, the famous call for undergoing early parliamentary elections has stepped back into the spotlight—Prime Minister Hassan Diab himself said that such elections were important.

On his part, Al-Rahi also acknowledges the significance of this demand, which he echoed during his Sunday speech.

Additionally, he supported the ongoing call for an international probe into the explosion to be allowed by the authorities.

This request has been actively pushed forth by various international organizations and world leaders, in addition to the Lebanese people themselves.

Despite that, President Michel Aoun has refused an international investigation, which he said would “dilute the truth” and “waste time.”

The probe will, instead, be conducted by the Lebanese judiciary to determine where the responsibility falls regarding the infamous ammonium nitrate shipment that led to the massive explosion, as well as how the explosion happened.

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