Iraq’s parliament on Sunday accepted the resignation of embattled Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi after weeks of huge protests demanding better economic conditions and an overhaul of the country’s political system.

The 77-year-old announced on Friday his decision to step down after Iraq’s top Shia leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged lawmakers to withdraw support for the government over its handling of demonstrations in which some 400 people have been killed by security forces since early October.

Abdul Mahdi will now remain as caretaker until a new prime minister is chosen – a process that in the past has dragged on for months.

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Abdul Mahdi was thrust into the job a little over a year ago after inconclusive elections led to weeks of political deadlock.

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