Iraq's parliament has approved the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's government after two months of protests that have left more than 400 people dead.
The speaker of parliament said on December 1 that he would now ask President Barham Saleh to name a new prime minister.
Mahdi announced his intention to resign on November 29 following weeks of unrest and a call from the country’s top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, for parliament to end its support of the government.
Al-Sistani has condemned the use of force against protesters and called for lawmakers to drop their support for the current cabinet. Iraq’s top cleric also urged demonstrators to reject acts of violence and vandalism.
Earlier on December 1, reports said Iraqi authorities issued an arrest warrant against a military chief for ordering a deadly clampdown on anti-government protests in the southern province of Dhi Qar.
Several rights groups have accused the Iraqi security forces of using excessive violence to quell the protests.
Mahdi’s resignation, though welcomed by protesters, is not expected to end the demonstrations, which have called for an overhaul of a political system accused of being corrupt and keeping most of the population in poverty.
Demonstrations are continuing in Baghdad and other southern regions and security forces killed one protester and wounded nine others near a key bridge in the capital on December 1, Reuters reported citing the police and a medical source.