Iraq appoints third PM-designate, after second withdraws
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s intelligence chief was appointed the country’s third prime minister-designate in just over a month Thursday after the resignation of the most recent candidate amid political infighting.
The upheaval threatened a leadership vacuum at the helm of the government amid a severe economic crisis and viral pandemic.
Adnan Al-Zurfi’s candidacy was imperiled in the past 48 hours when key Shiite parties rallied around Iraq’s intelligence head, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, to replace him. His chances were further diminished when the main Kurdish and Sunni blocs withdrew support for his candidacy.
Iraq’s president appointed Kadhimi, 53, as prime minister-designate shortly after Al-Zurfi’s resignation.
“With my mandate to lead the Iraqi government, I pledge to my honorable people to work to form a government that puts the aspirations and demands of Iraqis as the top priority,” Kadhimi tweeted shortly after his appointment was announced. Kadhimi was appointed by former PM Al-Abadi as head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and has served in this post since June 2016.
In a resignation letter to Saleh, Al-Zurfi cited “internal and external reasons” that prevented him from carrying out his duties as premier-designate. He had presented a govt plan focusing on the economy, reconstruction and bringing arms under the control of the state, but fell short of producing a Cabinet lineup to parliament. - AP