Outgoing Education Minister Qusay al-Suhail on Wednesday turned down nomination to be Iraq's new prime minister.
In a letter to his al-Bina coalition, al-Suhail said conditions "were not favorable" for his nomination to the post.
The coalition, which is close to Iran, has nominated al-Suhail to replace Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned earlier this month amid mass protests against his government.
But his nomination was greeted with opposition from protesters, who have camped out in several Iraqi provinces since October to protest poor living conditions and deep-seated corruption.
Meanwhile, local media said that the coalition will nominate Basra governor Asaad al-Eidani for premiership.
At least 496 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in the protests, according to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara