With prime minister out, Iraq in constitutional ‘black hole’
On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament formally accepted Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation as prime minister. However, the next step to replacing Abdul-Mahdi remains unclear and clouded with legal questions. Existing laws on replacing a prime minister who resigns do not provide clear procedures. Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation follows the intensification of protests in the capital city of Baghdad, with one protestor shot dead over the weekend. The constitution currently requires parliament’s largest bloc to nominate a new candidate within 15 days, and this designate has 30 days to form a government. Experts warned of political crisis, as there is controversy over which coalition constitutes the largest bloc, resulting in issues in the nomination of a new prime minister.
Anti-government demonstrators have also congregated in Basra, a city famous for its oil production. Protestors wore black clothes as a symbol of mourning, paying respect to protestors killed in Najaf and Dhi Qar in the past several days. A new investigative committee was formed to examine the deaths of protestors in the city of Nasiriyah. Nasiriyah has had the highest demonstrator fatality rate as of last week. One lieutenant has been arrested for issuing orders that resulted in the killing of demonstrators and the use of live ammunition. Roughly 400 have been killed since the protests began on October 1.