Won’t run for a second term, says Iraq Prime Minister

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that he won’t run for the post of prime minister for a second term, Anadolu Agency reported.

“We respect and obey the instructions of the religious authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. I did not and will not request the post of prime minister in the second term,” Anadolu Agency quoted Abadi as he addressed a news conference in Baghdad.

“Our service for the [Iraqi] people will continue until the new government is established. We will give everyone a lesson on how to make a governmental change in peaceful ways.”

However, Abadi urged that the change in government should be in peaceful terms and not by armed clashes.

Abadi’s decision comes at a time when he continues to face a growing domestic discontent and violence in many parts of the country.

Last week, the Iraqi city of Basra was rocked by violence, with protestors burning government buildings and the Iranian consulate.

Earlier this week, Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani also urged Abadi not to run for a second term at a time when Iraqis, in general, are frustrated at the governance under the latter’s leadership.

In Iraq, the formation of a new government is also on hold since May, as even after hard-fought parliamentary poll, the results were later subject to a recount.