The move by Adel Abdul-Mahdi 13 months after he took over as prime minister triggered celebrations by anti-government protesters who have been camped out in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square for nearly two months. Young men and women broke out in song and dance as news of his imminent resignation reached the square, the capital’s largest.
In a statement, Abdul-Mahdi said he had “listened with great concern” to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s sermon and made his decision in response to his call and in order to “facilitate and hasten its fulfillment as soon as possible.”
“I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that the parliament can review its choices,” he said. Abdul-Mahdi was appointed prime minister just over a year ago as a consensus candidate between political blocs.