Russia expects that Iraq will be able to select a candidate for the country’s prime minister in due time, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.
"Now the country’s president is holding intense consultations with key parliamentary blocs on a candidate for the new chief of the cabinet of ministers," Zakharova said.
"We expect that a consensus solution will be found within a timeframe set by the Iraqi Constitution and actually, a power vacuum will be prevented. It is dangerous because it could trigger a domestic political crisis."
Zakharova emphasized that Russia supports steps by the Iraqi authorities aimed at establishing national inclusive dialogue taking into account all ethnic and religious groups and also at launching social and economic reforms.
The diplomat stressed that it’s up to Iraqi citizens to decide on domestic political issues without any foreign meddling. "We hope that the troubled Iraqi people <...> won’t again become a hostage of someone’s political games and ambitions, and that Iraq won’t turn into an arena of settling accounts between external players," Zakharova noted.
In three days the deadline will expire for selecting a candidate for the prime minister to take over from Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who stepped down on November 30. There is still no candidate for this post. Two out of three key factions in the parliament have refused to take part in this process.
Thousands of people have been protesting in downtown Baghdad, demanding establishing a new government as soon as possible, dissolving the parliament and holding an early election. The demonstrators refuse to halt protests until their demands are met.