World, Middle East

Iraqi president to resign as pressure mounts

Barham Salih unable to appoint prime minister who is acceptable to protesters

Haydar Karaalp   | 26.12.2019
Iraqi president to resign as pressure mounts


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

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.

The Iraqi parliament suspended its session until further notice, following Salih's rejection to assign Asaad al-Eidani, governor of the southern Basra province, to form the Iraqi government. 

It was suspended after the end of the first session which discussed proposed amendments on the federal financial management law. The second session had been allocated to discuss a unified pension law, but was cancelled.

The suspension of the parliamentary sitting came amid a heightened debate regarding the naming of a new prime minister.

A group of activists on Thursday rejected prime ministerial candidate 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.

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