Iraqi protesters reject new PM in marches across the country

Protesters in Iraq have taken to the streets to denounce the appointment of the country's new Prime Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi.

And that's even after he appealed to downtrodden Iraqis for their support and pledged to hold internationally monitored elections and form a government within one month.

But for many protesters, he's just another stooge of the political elite.

They're demanding any new Iraqi prime minister must be independent of established political parties and by approved by demonstrators.


''The nomination of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi contradicts the demands of protesters at the sit-in sites. We as students have come out in a big demonstration to reject this nomination. What is important, the President should appoint a qualified and independent prime minister away from parties and sectarianism.''

Iraqi President Barham Salih appointed Allawi as PM on Saturday (February 1) after squabbling parties failed to name a candidate in the two months since Adel Abdul-Mahdi was ousted by mass protests.

Populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for his supporters to return to normal life in light of the appointment -- urging his followers to help security forces clear roads blocked during protests.

Sadr has directed anti-government unrest in past but he has not been able to control this round of demonstrations, with many protesters opposing him as much as the rest of the political class.