Lebanon needs secular state, new electoral law to prevent further collapse: House speaker

Xinhua , Thursday 13 Aug 2020

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a parliamentary session at UNESCO Palace, after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon August 13, 2020. REUTERS

Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri urged on Thursday the formation of a secular state and adoption of a new electoral law to save the country from further collapse, the National News Agency reported.

"We need a new electoral law that does not take into account any religions or sects, as well as an ascending tax system, a proper social security system and the formation of a government ... that focuses on the fight against corruption," Berri said during a parliamentary meeting held at the UNESCO Palace.

Two huge explosions rocked Port of Beirut on Aug. 4 at around 6:10 p.m. local time (1510 GMT), killing 171 and wounding at least 6,000 others.

This led to the resignation of the cabinet as media reports show some cabinet members were aware of the 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at Port of Beirut and may have caused the explosions.

People took to the streets in protest of the government, demanding early parliamentary elections and the overhaul of the ruling class.

The explosions pose a great challenge to Lebanon especially when the country is facing its worst economic crisis in its history.

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