Iraqi Parliament Accepts PM’s Resignation
Iraq’s parliament, without voting, has officially enacted the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who announced on Friday that he was quitting over ongoing anti-government unrest that has left at least 400 people dead since the beginning of October. Legal experts cite a lack of constitutional clarity in explaining Sunday’s procedure. Some lawmakers had said there would be a vote, and others said none would be needed – while yet others had been under the impression that the resignation could be made official only by President Barham Salih. Iraq is now in the hands of a toothless caretaker government – led by Abdul-Mahdi – until Salih asks the largest political bloc to recommend a prime minister, who then will have to forge a government to lead the deeply divided country. Protesters were a bit less ambiguous in the way they greeted the prime minister’s resignation, saying it would not be enough. They are demanding wide-ranging reforms to improve the economy, reduce corruption and even block Iranian influence over the Shi’ite-majority nation.