Iraq's intelligence chief picked to form new government

Baghdad (dpa) -The chief of Iraq's intelligence service, Mostafa al-Kazemi, has been named as the country's new prime minister-designate, the official Iraqi news agency INA reports.

President Barham Salih has tasked al-Kazemi with forming a new government, the agency adds.

Iraq's prime minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi on Thursday withdrew his bid to for a new government, prolonging a months-long political crisis in the country.
Last month, President Barham Salih tasked al-Surfi, a former provincial governor, with the premiership post in an attempt to end the country's political deadlock amid massive protests for reforms.
On Thursday, al-Zurfi said he quit due to unspecified "internal and external reasons" without elaborating.
"I feel sorry about how the tasking [of forming the government] has ended amid all the support offered by the good people," al-Zurfi added in a press statement without elaborating.
Al-Zurfi, who is currently a member of parliament, was Iraq's second hopeful to succeed Adel Abdel-Mahdi, who resigned after coming under pressure from street protests.
Former prime minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi stepped down on March 1 after trying to form a cabinet for a month. However, the parliament failed twice to vote on his proposed cabinet line-up due to wrangling among political rivals.
Protests have roiled Iraq since early October, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of the government, the dissolution of parliament and an overhaul of the country's political system, which has been in place since the 2003 US-led invasio

Thursday, April 9th 2020

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