The announcement by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi that he will be tendering his resignation to Parliament in the wake of anti-government protests, was met with wild jubilation on Friday, at Iraq’s Tahrir Square, where anti-government protesters have been camped out for nearly two months.
The anti-government protesters who had taken over the Tahrir square in central Baghdad to decry corruption, poor services and lack of jobs, shortly after Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced his intention to resign on Friday, broke out in song and dance in celebration.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi had said he will submit his resignation to Parliament just a few months of assuming office.
The statement, broadcast on Iraqi TV, comes a day after Iraq’s top Shiite cleric warned of civil war after a deadly day of violence in which security forces shot dead 40 people in the capital and the southern provinces, calling on lawmakers who to “reconsider” their support for the current government.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani had said, the parliament that voted the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi is “invited to reconsider its choices in that regard,” in his weekly Friday sermon delivered in the holy city of Najaf.
Al-Sistani also said protesters should distinguish between peaceful demonstrators and those with have malign intentions to coopt their movement.
Forty protesters were shot dead by security forces in Baghdad and the southern cities of Najaf and Nasiriya on Thursday, one day after the burning of an Iranian consulate.
Abdul-Mahdi says he will present to parliament an official memorandum asking for the resignation of the current government, and the anti-government protesters have welcomed the latest development, Associated Press reports.