The head of the Lebanon-based political organization Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has urged the country’s central bank governor, Riad Salameh, to step down due to mounting legal troubles.
Nasrallah called on Salameh to resign in a televised speech on Saturday, amid a deepening financial crisis in the country, and allegations that Salameh is facing a string of corruption charges.
Salameh has been central bank governor since 1993 and is one of the most influential figures in Lebanese financial circles.
In his address, Nasrallah suggested that Salameh should step down in order to prevent the situation from further deteriorating.
“If he steps down, he would be serving the Lebanese people, and this could be the form of saving the situation in Lebanon and fortifying the state’s prestige,” Nasrallah said.
The call comes a week after Salameh was questioned for more than 22 hours on charges of facilitating money laundering during the period between 2004 and 2017.
His alleged involvement in mismanaging funds of at least 29 banks has been wholly denied by the governor, who has enjoyed support from many in Lebanon.
Lebanon is experiencing an economic crisis that has raised fears of a default on its huge public debt, and eroded the value of its currency. The country has yet to form a new government since its last one resigned in response to the Beirut port explosion in August last year.