PM Abadi says not seeking re-election after protests

PM Abadi says not seeking re-election after protests

"We respect and obey the instructions of the religious authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani".

"We demand the government apologize to the people and resign immediately", said Hassan al-Aquli, a spokesman for Sadr's political list.

This could also be a big blow to the United States, which has long tried to retain effective control over Iraq's government, and has driven the previous governments' formations virtually every election.

Abadi urged that the change in the government should be in peaceful terms, not by armed clashes.

"We do not accept the continuation of political differences, as they can be exploited by terrorism, leading to criminal actions that would disrupt security and stability in the country", Abadi said.

More news: Mother and baby among dead as Hurricane Florence lashes United States coast

"Terrorism is waiting for sharp political disputes so it can hit".

Iraq's parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi as speaker on Saturday, marking the first step towards establishing the new government four months after an inconclusive national election.

In Iraq, the formation of a new government is also on hold since May, as even after hard-fought parliamentary poll, the results were later subject to a recount. He said this decision will be made by the largest blocs in the legislature.

"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.

Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose bloc won the 12 May elections, has distanced himself from his one-time ally Abadi, while a rival alliance of pro-Iranian former paramilitary fighters led by Hadi al-Ameri said it would work with Sadr to form a new government that excludes the premier.

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