From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Nouri al-Maliki has in a television address announced his decision to step down as Iraq's prime minister and endorsed Haider al-Abadi as his successor.
He said his decision was aimed at preserving the country's "unity".
Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Erbil.