Iraq's president on Saturday assigned the country's former communications minister to form a new government.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi announced President Barham Salih's mandate to form the new government on Twitter.

He also addressed protestors urging them to continue their demonstrations until a change was achieved in the country.

Speaking on public television, Allawi said that he would establish a government free from sectarianism and political factionalism.

Saying that demonstrations in the country should continue, Allawi promised that those who attack protesters and security forces will be caught and punished.

He said that a direct dialogue channel will be opened up with demonstrators, adding that he will lead the country to early elections and will combat the corruption in state institutions.

Allawi must now establish a government within a month, according to the Iraqi constitution.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, born in Baghdad, was elected a deputy after 2003.

He had served as the minister of communication for two terms under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Iraqi protesters, who want a technocrat government not affiliated with political parties to be formed in the country, have called Allawi a candidate of "political parties."

Iraq has been roiled by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign Nov. 29. His resignation was accepted Dec.1.

More than 500 people have been killed and 17,000 injured in protests, according to Iraq's commission.