Eight Lebanon lawmakers resigned on Thursday, days after Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his Cabinet stepped down following angry street protests in the wake of a deadly explosion at the port of Beirut.

Accepting seven resignations, Nabih Berri, the parliamentary speaker, said: “The nation is dying, and we no longer have anything but to [undergo] surgery through the civil state, and an electoral law without a doctrinal or sectarian hindrance.”

He called for speeding up the formation of a government that would focus on reforms and fighting corruption.

At least 200 lives were lost in the explosion on Aug. 4 that ripped through the Lebanese capital after a warehouse with 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire. Some 6,000 people were injured and 300,000 others rendered homeless.

The blast came as Lebanon deals with a severe financial crisis in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Middle Eastern country is under turmoil since late last October when plans to increase taxes forced former premier Saad Hariri to leave office.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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