Baghdad                   -            Iraq’s president on Tuesday named pro-Western lawmaker and former Najaf city governor Adnan Zurfi as the next prime minister, tasked with ruling a country hit by military unrest, street protests and the coronavirus outbreak.

The nomination came as Iraq faced two separate rocket attacks, one near the high-security Green Zone in Baghdad late Tuesday after a dawn attack hit a military base hosting US-led coalition and NATO troops.

In a statement late Tuesday, 54-year-old Zurfi pledged elections within a year of forming his cabinet and vowed to respond to the demands of protesters hitting the streets for months over government graft and inefficiency. He served multiple terms as governor of the holy city of Najaf and was elected in the 2018 parliamentary vote under the Nasr coalition, led by ex-PM Haider al-Abadi.

Zurfi once belonged to the Dawa party, an opposition force to dictator Saddam Hussein who was ousted in the 2003 US-led invasion, and has spent years in the US.