Iraq's president says one of the country's three vice presidents has resigned.
No formal reason was given. However, it is widely believed Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, left his post to avoid being seen as part of a failed government should its leadership be ousted by frustrated Iraqis.
President Jalal Talabani accepted Abdul-Mahdi's resignation on Monday, calling him an ally in the years of struggle during Saddam Hussein's regime.
Abdul-Mahdi could not be reached for comment. He has threatened in recent months to leave the office he has held for more than four years to save the cash-strapped government the cost of his annual salary of $108,000.