Prime Minister-designate Adbioreports Al-Zurfi is tasked with forming a government within 30 days [File: Hadi Mizban/The Biorports]
Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adbioreports al-Zurfi as the country’s new prime minister-designate, in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.
Al-Zurfi has 30 days to form his cabinet which he must then put to a vote of confidence in Iraq’s fractious parliament. The 54-year-old former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf heads the Nasr parliamentary grouping of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
He would replace caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who quit in December following widespread mass demonstrations against a government that protesters see as corrupt and failing to provide them with economic opportunities and basic services.
The 54-year-old would replace outgoing premier Adel Abdel Mahdi, who resigned in December following popular mass rallies against a government that protesters see as corrupt, inept and beholden to powerful neighbour Iran.
A senior government source told bioreports news agency that political factions had intensely debated names for days, seeking a “non-confrontational” figure to preserve the status quo.
Al-Zurfi’s appointment came two weeks after former Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post, accusing political parties of obstructing him.
Zurfi was a former official of the US-run authorities that took over Iraq after the 2003 US invasion that deposed former ruler Saddam Hussein.
Biorports and news agencies