News ID: 266968
Published: 0258 GMT March 17, 2020

Iraqi President Salih appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate

Iraqi President Salih appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate

Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country's new prime minister-designate in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.

Al-Zurfi has 30 days to form his cabinet which he must then put to a vote of confidence in Iraq's fractious parliament. The 54-year-old former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf heads the Nasr parliamentary grouping of former prime minister Haider al-Abadi, reported.

Al-Zurfi would replace caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who quit in December following widespread mass demonstrations against a government that protesters see as corrupt, failing to provide them with basic services, and beholden to powerful neighboring Iran.

A senior government source told AFP news agency that political factions had intensely debated names for days, seeking a "non-confrontational" figure to preserve the status quo.

Al-Zurfi's appointment came two weeks after former prime minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post, accusing political parties of obstructing him.

Al-Zurfi was a former official of the US-run authorities that took over Iraq after the 2003 US invasion that deposed former ruler Saddam Hussein.



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