Baghdad, March 2 (IANS) Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday began consultations with parliamentary political blocs to choose an alternative Prime Minister-designate to form a new cabinet following the incumbent Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi’s apology.
A statement by Salih’s media office said the President called on the lawmakers to work seriously to achieve a true national agreement on choosing the alternative candidate within 15 days, in accordance with the Constitution, to form a new government, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The alternative candidate who would be designated to form the interim government should be acceptable by both people and lawmakers. The interim government should abide by its obligations toward citizens, and should be entrusted with holding early parliamentary elections,” Salih confirmed.
On Sunday night, Allawi apologized for forming a new Iraqi government, hours after Parliament failed to hold a session to vote on his cabinet lineup.
In a letter sent to Salih, Allawi said that he apologized because he was “in front of an equation, the position of Prime Minister in exchange for lack of honesty with my people and continuing the position at the expense of their suffering.”
He said that his choice was “simple and clear, which is to be with my people, especially when I saw that some political parties were not serious about reform that they promised the people with.”
On February 1, Salih appointed Allawi as the Prime Minister-designate to form a new cabinet.
According to the Iraqi constitution, a Prime Minister-designate has 30 days to form a cabinet and present it to Parliament for approval.
Allawi’s appointment came two months after former Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi resigned from the post.
The appointment ended a two-month period in which Abdel-Mahdi was running the country on an interim basis amid the nationwide anti-government protests that claimed 536 lives since it began last October.
The protesters demands include comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities.