Iraqi president names Adil Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister

Iraqi President Barham Salih (left), Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi (center) and Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi (right) during their meeting Tuesday at the headquarters of the Iraqi parliament.

Baghdad ( – Iraq’s newly-elected president Barham Salih has named veteran Shiite politician Adil Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister-designate and tasked him with forming a new government, a step which is expected to restore the country’s stability following a political deadlock.

The announcement was aired on the official Iraqi TV a few hours after Salih was named as Iraq’s president.

Under the Iraqi constitution, Abdul-Mahdi would have 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.

For his part, outgoing prime minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Abdul-Mahdi on assuming the premiership and wished him success in his duties.

Abadi further expressed hope that Abdul-Mahdi would form a strong government, which is capable of providing the best services for the Iraqi people.

Iraqi politicians have been in a deadlock over the formation of a new government since an election in May.

Under an informal power-sharing agreement in place since the 2003 ouster of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the position of Iraqi president goes to a Kurd.

The parliament speaker should be a Sunni Muslim, and the prime minister should be a Shi’a.

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