0957 GMT April 05, 2020
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, aljazeera.com 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.