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Iraqi president to resign as pressure mounts

December 26, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Iraqi President Barham Salih arrives at the Elysee Palace for his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) in Paris, France on 25 February 2019. [Mustafa Yalçın – Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi President Barham Salih said Thursday he is ready to resign before the parliament amid months-long protests that have gripped the country,  Anadolu reports.

According to a well-informed source in the Iraqi parliament who spoke on condition of anonymity: “Salih will resign if there is further pressure.”

Salih’s announcement comes amid ongoing political deadlock and his inability to designate a prime minister.

“The president says he prefers to resign rather than appoint a candidate the protesters refuse to accept,” the source added.

READ: Iraqi students protest as PM’s nomination delayed 

A group of activists on Thursday rejected prime ministerial candidate Asaad Al-Eidani saying he was responsible for killing protesters in Basra, where he is governor.

Outgoing Education Minister Qusay al-Suhail on Wednesday turned down his nomination for Iraq’s new prime minister.

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

At least 496 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in the protests, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.