Baghdad, Aug 14 (EFE).- Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday resigned as Iraqi prime minister in the face of the decision earlier this week by the country's president to nominate one of the outgoing premier's party colleagues to form a new government.
Al-Maliki, in a televised speech before the ruling Shiite coalition, announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy for a third term "in favor of brother Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi people and as a loyal soldier in the service of Iraq."
He said that he did not want any post in the new government because his "only post is the confidence of the people" in him, and he lamented the fact that in recent days he had been the target of "ferocious attacks" that accused him of "clinging" to power.
"I'm not going to be the cause of spilling Iraqi blood," he said.
Al-Maliki's remarks come a day after he said that he would not resign the premiership after President Fouad Massoum named al-Abadi as the new prime minister.
Dawa, the party of al-Maliki and al-Abadi, got the largest number of seats in April's legislative elections, but the broader Shiite coalition of which it is a part soured on the two-term premier, whose rule has alienated many Sunnis and Kurds.
Al-Maliki's decision to go quietly removes one of the complications standing in the way of forming a new Iraqi government and will clear the road for resolving the political crisis, which is occurring as a very serious armed conflict is under way in northern Iraq as the Islamic State radicals push deeper into the country from Syria.
The Islamic State took over Mosul, the country's second-largest city, on June 10, and since then it has been continuing its drive to expand the "caliphate" it declared in the territory under its control in Syria and northern Iraq.