Won't Run for a Second Term, Says Iraq Prime Minister

PM Abadi says not seeking re-election after protests

Formation of a new government has been stalled since May, when Iraq held a hard-fought parliamentary poll, the results of which were later subject to a recount.

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.

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

Anger in Basra flared early last week over a growing health crisis, after more than 30,000 people were hospitalized by pollution in the city's water supply.

Basra has been at the epicenter of protests that broke out in July in the southern province before spreading to other parts of the country, as demonstrators railed against poor services and condemned corruption among Iraqi officials. The MPs said the alliance would give them a majority bloc at the Parliament, empowering them to create the government.

Five dead in Carolinas as Florence brings ´epic´ floods
Florence will track through SC through Saturday night, and then up into western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Sunday. Super Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to hit an area in the Philippines on Saturday that would affect 5.2 million people.

"I renew the call for the political blocs in the parliament to accelerate the nomination of the speaker of the house, then the presidency of the republic", Abadi said.

"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. He said this decision will be made by the largest blocs in the legislature.

Parliament is set to elect a new speaker on Saturday, which comes after lawmakers met in parliament at the weekend with questions over Abadi's ability to stay on as premier.

Meanwhile, Abadi expressed his respect for "the directives of the Supreme Religious Marjiyah", the Shiite religious authority headed by the spiritual Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

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