Iraq's president has named ex-Najaf city governor and pro-Western lawmaker Adnan Zurfi, as the next prime minister, after caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, quit in December.
Al-Zurfi, 54, has been tasked with ruling a country plagued by military unrest, street protests and the coronavirus.
The longtime opposition force to ex-dictator Saddam Hussein who was ousted in the 2003 US-led invasion was nominated hours after two rockets hit an Iraqi military base hosting US-led coalition and NATO troops, which is the third of such attack within a week. Although no casualties were recorded according to military officials.
Zurfi who holds an Iraqi-US dual national upon his recent appointment has 30 days to pull together a government, which must then be confirmed by parliament.
Al-Zurfi's appointment came two weeks after an earlier nominee, Mohammad Allawi, had failed to form a cabinet by March 2, triggering a new 15-day deadline for Saleh that was set to end late Tuesday. Although Allawi claimed to had withdrawn his candidacy, accused political parties of obstructing him.