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Iraqi students rally against PM-designate Mohammed Allawi

Hundreds of students have marched in cities across Iraq to denounce the nomination of Mohammed Allawi as the country’s next prime minister despite calls from influential Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, for his supporters to clear roads and resume “day-to-day life”. Anti-government protesters in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriya rejected the choice of Allawi, who they accuse of belonging…

Iraqi students rally against PM-designate Mohammed Allawi

Hundreds of students have marched in cities across Iraq to denounce the nomination of Mohammed Allawi as the country’s next prime minister despite calls from influential Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, for his supporters to clear roads and resume “day-to-day life”.
Anti-government protesters in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriya rejected the choice of Allawi, who they accuse of belonging to the same political establishment that has failed them.
“For sure he is rejected,” a student protester in the capital, Baghdad, told Al Jazeera on Sunday. “For 16 years we haven’t seen anything from them, just destruction.”
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Mass anti-government protests erupted in Iraq on October 1, when thousands of people took to the streets in Baghdad and the predominately Shia-dominated provinces in southern Iraq to decry rampant government corruption, poor services and a lack of employment opportunities.
The protesters demanded the removal of the political elite and a complete overhaul of the country’s political system introduced after the US invasion of 2003.
At least 500 people have been killed amid a crackdown on demonstrations, with rights groups condemning security forces’ use of live fire.
Familiar figure
The 65-year-old prime minister-designate is no stranger to Iraqi politics. A cousin of former vice president and prime minister, Iyad Allawi, he previously served as a member of parliament and communications minister under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Allawi resigned in 2012, accusing al-Maliki of political interference in his ministry and the government of turning a blind eye to corruption.
After two months of political deadlock following the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Allawi was nominated as the new prime minister on Saturday, with the task of running the country until an early election is held, for which there is no date set.
The selection of Allawi followed an ultimatum by Iraq President Barham Salih, who had said he would pick a new prime minister himself if parties did not agree on a candidate.

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