BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Saturday formally submitted his resignation to parliament.
Abdul-Mahdi said in a cabinet session that the resignation is required for calm, and that it comes in response to the speech of the Supreme Religious authority.
He said the government would remain a caretaker government, including the prime minister and ministers, so that we would not leave a power vacuum.
Abdul Mahdi said that in Iraq, “we are no longer dictatorial governments and governments resign and renew the youth of the country.”
On Friday, Abdul Mahdi announced his intention to resign shortly after Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on the Iraqi parliament to withdraw confidence from the government.
Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said parliament would determine the legal status of Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government after accepting his resignation in accordance with the constitution.
The Iraqi parliament is due to hold a session on Sunday to vote on the resignation request of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, a time when Iraq has not seen the departure of a prime minister before the end of his term, since the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.
On the ground, Iraqis are continuing their protests in Baghdad and southern areas on Saturday, calling the resignation of the prime minister “unconvincing” and insisting on “the removal of all symbols of corruption.”
The current popular movement is the largest in Iraq in decades and the bloodiest, with more than 420 people killed and 15 thousand wounded in Baghdad and the Shiite-dominated south, since the outbreak of demonstrations on the first of last October