Iraqi PM-designate decides to resign after major blocs push for new nomination

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BAGHDAD, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi said on Thursday that he will not participate in forming a new government, after major political blocs have pushed for the nomination of intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi to replace him.

In a letter released by local media, al-Zurfi said his retreat from the new government aims to "preserve Iraq's unity and its higher interests."

He also pledged to continue serving the Iraqi people through his position as a lawmaker.

"I will continue to work and prepare for the upcoming early elections to complete the national project and develop its economic foundations for the reconstruction of Iraq," al-Zurfi noted.

On March 17, Iraqi President Barham Salih named al-Zurfi as the prime minister-designate to form an interim government after the Shiite political blocs failed to nominate a candidate for the post.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Forces Coalition, a major Sunni political bloc headed by Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, announced in a statement its support for nominating al-Kadhimi as the new prime minister-designate.

Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the government of Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, also said in a statement that his government supports the nomination of al-Kadhimi to form the government. Enditem

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