Iraqi PM agrees to step down
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari cleared the way Thursday for Shiite leaders to withdraw his nomination for a second term. Shiite lawmakers were set to meet Saturday to decide whether to replace al-Jaafari, who faced strong opposition from Iraq's Kurdish and Sunni Arab parties.
"The alliance is leaning toward changing (the nomination). The majority opinion is in favor of this," said Bassem Sharif, an Iraqi lawmaker.
The dramatic announcement was made shortly before a planned session of the Iraqi parliament to try to promote the formation of a new government.
Jawad al-Maliki, spokesman for the prime minister's Dawa party, told reporters that "circumstances and updates had occurred" prompting al-Jaafari to refer the nomination back to the alliance "so that it take the appropriate decision."
According to the AP, Al-Maliki said the prime minister was not stepping down but "he is not sticking to this post."