Iraq's prime minister indicates he will not seek second term

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi says he will not "cling to power," after Iraq's highest Shiite religious authority called for the appointment of a new head of government.

Al-Abadi's political standing has crumbled in the wake of rioting in Iraq's oil capital, Basra, over corruption, failed services and contaminated drinking water.

Al-Abadi, who was backed by the U.S. for a second term in office, said he would respect the directives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who said it was time for Iraq to appoint a prime minister it has never had before. Al-Abadi made his remarks at his weekly press conference on Thursday.