ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, chaired on Saturday an extraordinary ministerial council session to discuss his government’s resignation letter to the national parliament amid ongoing unrest.
Abdul Mahdi announced on Friday his intention to resign after the bloodiest day of protests in Baghdad, Nasiriya, and Najaf since they began, during which security forces killed upward of 40 demonstrators. Since the start of October, over 400 have been reported killed.
The prime minister has said his decision came in response to a call from the top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Although some demonstrators celebrated Abdul Mahdi’s announcement, protests seem poised to continue.
When they began two months ago, demonstrations called for improved public services, increased access to jobs, and an end to the corruption that plagues the country’s various institutions. They later also demanded a complete overhaul of the government and denounced the political elite.
Abdul Mahdi said in a statement that his government “did everything possible to respond to the demands of the demonstrators and provide reform packages, employment, plots of land, and important legislative bills.”
The PM stressed the “principle of peaceful transfer of power in the democratic system,” adding “achieving the interests of the people is a goal that tops everything.”
The prime minister called on his cabinet members to continue their work until the new government is formed.
During its session, the cabinet reviewed “the complex circumstances in which the government was formed, the challenges it faced, and what it has achieved.”
The statement added that the cabinet voted at the end of the meeting on the resignation of the Director of the Office of the Prime Minister Mohammed al-Hashemi and the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Hamid al-Ghazi.
The Iraqi Parliament is scheduled to meet on Sunday.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany