SHAFAQNA– The Iraqi parliament on Sunday December 1 accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, two days after he announced that he will step aside in response to a call by Shia Supreme Religious Authority Grand Ayatollah Sistani who referenced the “failure of respective agencies to handle developments over the past two months.”
Abdul Mahdi who initially had agreed to step down on October 31, announced his resignation Friday November 29 in order to prevent more bloodshed. The parliament on Sunday approved the resignation of Adil Abdul Mahdi and his entire cabinet. He will serve as caretaker prime minister for 30 days until the parliament or the biggest parliamentary bloc grooms another politician to replace him. Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi says he will speak with President Barham Salih who is expected to task another politician with the formation of the new government in line with Article 76 of the Constitution.
In a letter sent to Speaker Halbousi, the lawmakers have put five conditions for the new head of government. They say the new premier should be politically independent, should not have another nationality, should not have served at government positions since 2003 and finally protesters have to agree with him or her.
Despite the latest developments and the resignation of the government, protests continue unabated in some parts of Iraq. Demonstrators were out on the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Sunday, December 1. Reports say unknown gunmen opened fire at police forces, inuring an officer. A group of assailants also attacked the seminary of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir Hakim and set fire on the entrance into his tomb. Police force of the Najaf in a statement called on protesters to keep restraint and refrain from attacking police forces.
Another police was wounded in the city of Dhi Qar, when unknown men opened fire at a police brigade. Both Najaf and Dhi Qar have been the scene of fierce clashes since last week. Iraqi security sources say the situation is calm in downtown Baghdad and areas surrounding the iconic Tahrir Square.
Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights estimates at least 420 people -including civilians and security forces- have been killed during clashes and acts of violence by rioters and more than 17,700 injured across Iraq since early October where protesters came to the streets of several governorates to protest against economic difficulties and corruption. The IHCHR says it will try to bring to justice those who killed or committed crimes against peaceful protesters and violated their human rights.
Iraqi protesters have vowed to remain on the streets until they meet their demands.
Sources: Shafaqna, Alsumarianews, Aljazeera
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