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Protests continue in Iraq amid disagreement on prime minister

December 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Demonstrators during an anti-government protest in Iraq on 15 December 2019 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Anti-government protests continued across Iraq as political consultations in the capital Baghdad yesterday failed to choose a candidate to succeed Adil Abdul Mahdi as prime minister.

The Iraqi protesters and ruling parties have not been able to nominate a candidate who is acceptable to all sides to succeed Abdul Mahdi, leaving the country on the brink of constitutional vacuum.

In late November, Abdul Mahdi resigned as prime minister following months of anti- government protests which left hundreds of protesters dead and thousands injured.

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Sunday called on parliament to announce the parliamentary bloc that won the largest number of seats in the elections last year as a prelude to delegating it to appoint its candidate for the post of prime minister.

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Salih explained that according to the constitution a new prime minister must be appointed within a maximum of 15 days following the departure of the sitting head of government, meaning that the new candidate should be nominated by Thursday.

Protesters have demanded that the upcoming prime minister should not have played any political role since 2003.