Iraqi parliament approves PM’s resignation as anti-gov’t protests continue

Xinhua — The Iraqi parliament on Sunday approved the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, as demonstrations continue in the country, the Iraqi official television reported.

The parliament’s lawmakers voted to accept Abdul Mahdi’s resignation after reading his letter of resignation during the session, state-run Iraqiya channel said.

“The President of Iraq will be informed to nominate a new prime minister in accordance with the constitution’s Article 76,” said Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi.

The parliament extraordinary session was held in the afternoon to discuss the protests and the security situation in the provinces of Dhi Qar and Najaf in southern Iraq, as well as Abdul Mahdi’s resignation.

Abdul Mahdi’s resignation came more than a year after he was sworn in as Iraqi prime minister on Oct. 25, 2018.

On Friday, Abdul Mahdi announced that he would submit his resignation to the parliament in response to anti-government protests.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the largest coalition in parliament should nominate a candidate for the vacant post to President Barham Salih who will task the new prime minister-designate to form a new cabinet.

The prime minister-designate has 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval. The parliament must approve each minister in separate absolute majority votes.

Mass demonstrations have continued in the capital Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities.