Iraq: Parliament approves PM's resignation, protesters mourn dead

Baghdad: Amid weeks of deadly anti-government protests in the country, Iraqi parliament on Sunday approved Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's resignation during a parliament session held here.

Meanwhile, Speaker Mohammad al-Halbusi, while referring to Article 76 of Iraq's constitution, said he would ask president Barham Saleh to appoint a new prime minister, reported Al Jazeera.

Earlier on Saturday, an embattled Abdul Mahdi formally submitted his resignation to the parliament following the killing of more than 50 protestors by the security forces in Baghdad and other cities across the country since October.

The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session was held on Saturday in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul Mahdi's chief of staff.

On Friday, announcing his resignation, Abdul Mahdi, in a statement said: "I will submit to the Council of Representatives (parliament) an official letter requesting the resignation from the Prime Minister post so that the council can reconsider its options." Nationwide protests in Iraq began in early October and escalated in waves. People are demanding the ouster of the government, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social welfare and an end to corruption.

More than 400 people have been killed since the uprising shook Iraq on October 1.

Security forces have been accused of using live fire, tear gas and sound bombs to disperse crowds leading to heavy casualties.

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