Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi says he will submit his resignation to the country’s parliament following a day of intense bloodshed and in response to a call for a change of leadership by the country’s top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
“I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that the parliament can review its choices,” Abdul Mahdi said Friday.
Earlier in the day, Ayatollah al-Sistani said that parliament, which elected the year-old government of Abdul Mahdi, should “reconsider its options”.
“We call upon the House of Representatives from which this current government emerged to reconsider its options in that regard,” Ayatollah al-Sistani said in his weekly sermon delivered in the holy city of Najaf via a representative.
Abdul Mahdi said he “listened with great concern” to the top cleric’s sermon and made his decision in response to his call and in order to “facilitate and hasten its fulfillment as soon as possible”.
The developments came a day after more than 50 people were killed by security forces in one of the bloodiest days of violence since the anti-government protests erupted in early October.