“I declare the resignation of the government that I had the honour to head. May God preserve Lebanon.”
They were the words of Omar Karami as he submitted his resignation, along with the resignations of all government ministers. President Emile Lahoud accepted their decision.
The announcement comes in a day which an opposition-led vote of no confidence was being discussed in Parliament. The Government’s support meant they would probably have won it.
But the clincher, it seems, was the 10,000 strong demonstration in Sa’ahat Ash-Shouhada. A cheer went up as Karami announced his resignation.
Protesters had been gathering to demand the resignation, two weeks after the murder of former PM Rafiq Hariri.
Karami’s government replaced Hariri’s after he quit in October. Karami was seen a characterless, weak and ineffectual Syrian puppet. But worst of all, he was blamed for the murder of Hariri – some people directly implicated him, others said that he could have done more to protect Hariri.
Its hoped a stronger and more independent PM will lead Lebanon into May’s elections.
The resignation was first announced here last wednesday, but many doubted whether Karami would go through with it.