Iraq Prime Minister-Designate to hold early elections
BAGHDAD- Iraqi President Barham Salih called on the new prime minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi to hold early elections and carry out comprehensive reforms to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.
A statement by the Iraqi Presidency said that Salih asked al-Zurfi to form a new cabinet when he received the latter in his office in the Presidential Palace in central Baghdad.
Salih urged the prime minister-designate to "hold early and fair elections, fulfil the aspirations of Iraqis and to meet the legitimate demands of peaceful demonstrators by carrying out the required reforms."
Salih also urged al-Zurfi to "preserve the sovereignty, stability and security of Iraq," according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the United Nations secretary-general for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert welcomed in a tweet the designation of al-Zurfi to form a new government that would face "unprecedented security, political, economic and health crises."
Al-Zurfi's nomination came one day after the deadline of 15 days set by the Iraqi constitution for political blocs to submit a candidate for the post of prime minister-designate to Iraqi president.
Al-Zurfi is an Iraqi Shiite politician, who was born in the city of Kufa in Najaf province in 1966. He joined the Dawa Islamic Party in his early life and later he fled the country during the Saddam Hussein regime and returned after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
He served as the governor of Najaf province for several years after 2009, and withdrew from Dawa party to form al-Wafaa Coalition in 2013. He is now part of al-Nasr Coalition led by former prime minister Haider al-Abadi.
According to the Iraqi constitution, the prime minister-designate has 30 days to put together a cabinet and present it to the parliament for approval, as the parliament must approve the government program and each individual minister in separate absolute majority votes.