Former communication minister to form new government in Iraq
BAGHDAD - Anadolu Agency
Iraq's president on Feb. 1 assigned the country's former communications minister to form a new government.
Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi announced President Barham Salih's mandate to form the new government on Twitter.
He also addressed protestors urging them to continue their demonstrations until a change was achieved in the country.
Speaking on public television, Allawi said that he would establish a government free from sectarianism and political factionalism.
Saying that demonstrations in the country should continue, Allawi promised that those who attack protesters and security forces will be caught and punished.
He said that a direct dialogue channel will be opened up with demonstrators, adding that he will lead the country to early elections and will combat the corruption in state institutions.
Allawi must now establish a government within a month, according to the Iraqi constitution.
UN welcomes designation of new Iraqi prime minister
UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General for Iraq welcomed the designation of the country's new Prime Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, according to a UN statement on Feb. 1.
"Iraq urgently needs to move forward. The prime minister-designate faces a monumental task: rapid Cabinet formation and parliamentary confirmation to press ahead with meaningful reforms addressing popular demands, delivering justice and accountability,” said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in a statement.
Noting that the road ahead "remains fraught with difficulties," the statement urged that the progress will require all actors support the work of the prime minister-designate "in the service of the people of Iraq," adding that the commitments expressed in Allawi's statement address "many demands of the peaceful protesters".
"While this is surely a welcome and encouraging sign, the Iraqi people will ultimately judge their leadership on results and accomplishments," it said.
The UN reiterated its call on all stakeholders to "rise above partisanship and place the national interest first, adding that it is time to act now.
Hennis-Plasschaert also urged to "spare no effort" in taking the country out of the crisis. "The United Nations will continue to support the Iraqi people and their government to build a more peaceful, just and prosperous Iraq."
Allawi said he would establish a government free from sectarianism and political factionalism, as well as urged protesters to continue their demonstrations until a change was achieved in the country.
Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, born in Baghdad, was elected a deputy after 2003.
He had served as the minister of communication for two terms under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Iraqi protesters, who want a technocrat government not affiliated with political parties to be formed in the country, have called Allawi a candidate of "political parties."
Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign Nov. 29. His resignation was accepted Dec.1.
More than 500 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in protests, according to Iraq's commission.