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Iraqi Prime Minister Resigned Amid Protests

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, resigned on Sunday, December 1, 2019, but he will resume his duties as the leader of the country until the parliament has a new government.

However, it is uncertain whether his resignation would bring solutions to the problems or would worsen the political situation in the country.

Public Protest for New Political System

Since October 2019, citizens of Iraq have been waging massive protests against the existing government and more than 400 people have died these protests.

These protests have a new kind in Iraqi history as the protestors are now demanding for a complete transformation of the existing political system, which has been continuing in the country since 2003.

Initially, people focused on the existing issues of unemployment and corruption in the country. Later, the protest demanded to handle political issues such as Iran’s growing interference and the US’s influence over the country’s internal affairs.

Abdul Mahdi’s government, before his resignation, had initiated certain political reforms as per the demands of the protestors, which included providing jobs, improving public services, and passing bills for electoral reforms.

Samya Kullab, a correspondent for the Associated Press in Iraq, stated that the public rejected the reforms of the Government because they no longer wanted just reforms but the reestablishment of the entire political system. The protestors are now calling for an entirely new law of the country.

The Iraqi people wanted to have strong self-government, which can fight against the bullying of the outside powers such as the US and Iran.

The public also apprehended that the Abdul Mahdi Government was a puppet of the US. Therefore, protestors targeted to topple the existing government and rebuild a new one for the people.

People’s Representatives for Country’s Stability

Considering this, the resignation was bound to happen, Laith Kubba, an adviser to the outgoing Prime Minister, commented NPR’s Weekend Edition that, “Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation should have happened sooner”.

He further added in the light of the existing political system and socio-economic situation,

“The system that was built and the powers that took over that system have led the country to a dead end, the country cannot continue with that system and with this political class. So the question now is how to map out a transition that will be least costly to the country, bearing in mind Iraq is in the midst of a region full of turbulence and violence.”

The Iraqi Parliament is now under the duress of the public pressure and is uncertain of who is going to lead the new government that will solve the existing problems in the country.

Regarding the issue of reinstating a new government, Kubba warned if a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post is chosen by Iraqi leaders without the consent of the people, they will fail to bring stability in the country.

Therefore, he suggested consulting people’s representatives in the formation of the new government. He added, “I think we need to focus on a transition where a council of dignitaries plays an intermediary role to win the confidence (of the Iraqi people).”

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