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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Independent member of the Lebanese parliament Paula Yacoubian resigned on Saturday as an MP in a video recording posted on Twitter following the Beirut explosion that left more than 150 people dead.
She said she decided to resign instantly after Tuesday’s massive explosion that had destroyed "a huge part of my city Beirut".
Ms Yacoubian said she feels the peoples’ suffering and cannot endure sitting beside parliamentarians that had contributed to it. She said handing in her resignation was the least she could do to bring some sort of comfort to the Lebanese.
“I believe that my resignation has become more of a duty now. Despite the fact that my presence inside the parliament made us expose those who were involved in corruption, and get hold of information that could help us expose those responsible for what the country has reached, I communicated with a number of MPs … independent ones and the members of Lebanese Phalange Party [Kataeb] with whom I discussed the resignation. Some asked not to rush and wait a bit,” she said.
In an emotional speech during a funeral service for one of his top party officials who died in Tuesday's blast, Samy Gemayel announced his resignation and that of the two other MPs from his Kataeb party.
"Your comrades took the decision to resign from parliament," Gemayel said, addressing Kataeb secretary-general Nazar Najarian, one of the 154 confirmed victims of the explosion at Beirut port.
When she saw that Katayeb MPs announced their resignation, Ms Yacoubian said she decided to tender her resignation as well.
“I wish that we could have been 10 or 12 liberal and independent parliamentarians to resign," she said in a video posted on Twitter.
"I will try to contact as much MPs as possible to convince them to resign because we cannot continue to play the role of ‘false witnesses’ in this parliament that is unproductive and doesn’t convene,” she was heard as saying in Arabic.
She complained about the banks imposing capital controls and complained about the economy.
The politician then claimed that, during her two years in parliament, she repeatedly called for urgent meetings of the special parliamentarian committee in charge of environment issues to discuss the topic of the polluted and poisonous air that the Lebanese have been breathing.
“We have been dying slowly. Despite all my calls nobody responded. The Parliament has been converted to a political barrack. I hear by call on all our decent and fellow colleagues in the parliament to resign as well,” she reiterated.
There is no hope whatsoever in making any reforms, according to Ms Yacoubian, who became an MP after she won the Armenian seat in Beirut. She said even "if they plan to make the reforms that would be formal just like the arrests made so far".
“Don’t trust them and don’t believe that there is change. Despite all the damages and what has happened so far they still come out and give us their same mottos and speeches,” she said.
There is one real opposition and that is the Lebanese people that perceives this ruling elite as an enemy, she continued.
“I call on the biggest number of MPs, who want to do something for the people, to resign. Though a late step, but that is the best thing we could do for the Lebanese people.
I call on the people to come down as one to Beirut and say we are the power we are the administration we are the ones who should rule and we should not be separated,” she said.
Lebanon's ambassador to Jordan also resigned in the aftermath of the blast, caused when fire spread to a depot where a huge amount of ammonium nitrate had been stored for years, unsecured.
Early evidence shows top officials knew of its presence at the port and that safety procedures were knowingly and repeatedly violated.
The government has promised a swift and thorough enquiry but public trust is low that an investigative committee chaired by top officials will uncover the real culprits.
Updated: August 8, 2020 06:17 PM
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