Maliki resigns as Iraqi PM

|By:, SA News Editor

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced late on Thursday he would step down after eight years in office, opening a new political chapter that U.S. officials hope will decrease Iraq's sectarian divisions.

"I withdraw my candidacy for prime minister in favor of Haider al-Abadi, in order to safeguard the unity and stability of Iraq and the political process," says Maliki.

Thanks to its vast oil reserves, Iraq’s GDP increased under Maliki's tenure, but so has corruption, waste and terrorism.

Al-Abadi is faced with the daunting task of moving the country toward a united front and fighting Islamic State.