Iraqi Kurdish regional president says Salih under pressure over appointing new PM-designate

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BAGHDAD, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — The prime minister of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan said Saturday that the Iraqi President Barham Salih is under great pressure to appoint a new prime minister-designate through unconstitutional mechanisms.

“On the issue of appointing a candidate to head the next Iraqi government, it appears that President Barham Salih is under great pressure, contrary to constitutional mechanisms,” Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said in a statement.

Barzani said that the Kurdish regional government is following with great concern and closely the situation and developments of Iraq and warned that the current instability and further complications could lead the country to an “unknown future,” according to the statement.

He also said that to choose a non-controversial candidate for the new prime minister-designate, the legitimate demands of the demonstrators should be taken into account, the statement added.

On Thursday, Salih sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, rejecting the nomination of Asad al-Eidani by the Building coalition as the largest coalition formed by some winning blocs after the 2018 parliamentary elections.

In the letter, published by some local media, Salih said his position on the current nomination “may be considered a violation of the constitutional text,” so he was ready to resign from the post of the president.

Salih also said the nomination of al-Eidani was not welcomed by the protesters.

Political and parliamentary moves must always reflect the public will, meet the requirements of social security and peace, while providing good governance in line with people’s aspirations and sacrifices, Salih said in his letter.

Salih’s letter came amid a political row over who would be chosen as a new prime minister-designate to form an interim government ahead of early parliament elections.

Mass demonstrations in parts of Iraq led to the resignation of Adel Abdul Mahdi and his government.

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