(CNN)Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has agreed to resign after weeks of anti-government protests that led to hundreds of casualties, Iraq’s president announced Thursday.

“The prime minister has agreed to resign,” Salih said, adding that Abdul Mahdi had asked “political blocs to reach an acceptable alternative” in order “to prevent a vacuum.”

One of Iraq’s leading Shiite clerics and most powerful politicians, Muqtada al-Sadr, had called on other parties Tuesday to back his push for a no-confidence vote in Abdul Mahdi.

    The protests, which have gripped parts of Iraq for the past month, were sparked by longstanding complaints over unemployment, government corruption, and a lack of basic services. Dozens of people have been killed since Friday.

    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/

     

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