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Iraq PM says government won’t resign ‘smooth and rapid’ alternative

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Berlin, Germany on 30 April 2019 [Michele Tantussi/Getty Images]
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Berlin, Germany on 30 April 2019 [Michele Tantussi/Getty Images]

The Iraqi government will not respond to protestors’ demands of resigning without a “smooth and quick” alternative, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced yesterday.

“There are legitimate demands for the resignation of the government, but this cannot be achieved without a smooth and swift alternative,” Abdul-Mahdi said during a cabinet meeting.

The Iraqi PM pointed out that the resignation of his government would leave “a gap in the country that will deepen the national problems.”

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“I’m ready to hand power and leave office immediately if political forces agree on an alternative,” he stressed.

Since 25 October, demonstrations in Iraq have rocked the capital city of Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces against government corruption, unemployment, and lack of basic services. According to rights groups, more than 250 protesters have been killed since the eruption.

Anger has been sparking in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

According to World Bank figures, Iraq’s youth unemployment is around 25%. It is also ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organisations.

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