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Uncertainties mount as Iraq's PM says he won't seek 2nd term

15 September 2018

Iraq's embattled prime minister Haider al-Abadi has arrived in the southern city of Basra, where protests over poor public services and unemployment have left at least 15 people dead.

"We respect and obey the instructions of the religious authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. I did not and will not request the post of prime minister for a second term", Abadi told reporters in Baghdad during a press conference on Thursday.

"The negotiations are still ongoing", al-Ashaari said.

"Then the nomination of the candidate of the biggest bloc for the prime minister post away from the political party quotas and to agree on the government programme that we have submitted that guarantees the benefits of the security and economic achievements of our government".

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

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"Terrorism is waiting for sharp political disputes so it can hit". "But I'm calling upon the political parties to control their political disputes and not allow them to extend to the streets", Abadi added.

Parliament was due to elect a speaker and two deputies during its first meeting on Sept 3, but failed to do so as lawmakers were still trying to determine which competing bloc had the most seats.

Sadr's political bloc, which includes communists, won 54 seats in the legislative elections, making it the largest grouping in Iraq's 329-seat parliament.

This followed populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr abandoning his alliance with Mr Abadi after a Saturday parliament session called by Mr Sadr to address the situation in Basra.

Amiri has also said that he would work with Sadr to form a new government that excluded Abadi.

Uncertainties mount as Iraq's PM says he won't seek 2nd term