Iraq Prime Minister designate to prepare transparent elections within a year of forming government

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - two rockets fell outside Baghdad's Green Zone on Tuesday without causing any reported casualties

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

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Iraq's newly designated Prime Minister Adnan Al Zurfi said in a statement released on state news agency (INA) late on Tuesday that he will make sure to prepare free, fair, transparent elections within a maximum period of one year from forming the next government.

Iraq's president named the little-known former regional governor as prime minister-designate earlier that day in another bid to overcome months of unrest and deadlock, but powerful Shi'ite blocs quickly lined up to reject his nomination.

Mr Al Zurfi also said he will work to confine arms to the hands of the state, eliminate all armed manifestations, and enforce state authority, INA reported. The 54-year-old is a pro-Western candidate who served multiple terms as governor of the Shiite holy city of Najaf and was elected in the 2018 parliamentary vote under the Nasr coalition, led by former prime minister Haider Al Abadi.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday Mr Al Zurfi would have the support of Washington and the international community if he would uphold Iraq's sovereignty, be corruption-free and protective of human rights among others.

Meanwhile, two rockets fell outside Baghdad's Green Zone on Tuesday without causing any reported casualties, Iraq's military said in a statement.

The US-led coalition’s spokesman, Colonel Myles B. Caggins III, said in a tweet that "Iraqis are investigating the explosions in Baghdad," with more details coming from the Iraqi military later.

He added: "As of 11 P.M. (Baghdad Time), no rockets were fired at Camp Taji. In Baghdad, no explosions occurred near US/Coalition facilities."

Updated: March 18, 2020 05:37 AM

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