BREAKING: Iraq’s President has just resigned.
Last month the Prime Minister had resigned.
The protests are having significant pressures on the government.
Iraqi President Barham Salih on Thursday expressed his readiness to submit resignation to the parliament after he refused to appoint an Iran-backed parliamentary bloc for prime minister, the Iraqi official television reported.
The Bina bloc, led by Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, had nominated Basra Governor Asaad al-Edani to be the next prime minister.
Iraqi lawmaker and paramilitary commander Hadi al-Amiri speaks during a news conference on the outskirts of Diyala province, north of Baghdad, February 2, 2015. /Reuters Photo
But Salih said in a statement that appointing Edani would not placate protesters demanding an independent prime minister with no party affiliation or help calm the unrest that has rocked the country.
In the letter, Salih said his position on the current nomination “may be considered a violation of a constitutional text,” so he was ready to resign from the post of the president.
“Out of my desire to stop blood and maintain peace, and with due respect to Asaad al-Edani, I refuse to nominate him,” Salih said. “Therefore I put my willingness to resign the post of president to members of parliament so that they decide as representatives of the people what they see fit.”
Iraq’s President Barham Salih addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. /Reuters Photo
Mass protests have gripped Iraq since October 1 and the protesters, most of them young, are demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and keeping most Iraqis in poverty. More than 450 people have been killed.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned last month as the protests continued, but he has remained in office in a caretaker capacity.
Moves and Counter Moves