Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki agreed to step down on Thursday after eight years in office. In a sudden change of heart, Maliki caved in to domestic and international pressure.
He had been accused of misrule and monopolising power, divisive politics that have fractured Iraq and opened the door to fighters from the Islamic State, and a Sunni rebellion.
He is now backing a rival politician to take his place.
Speaking on national television, Maliki said: 'In order to enable the political process to go forward and to form the new government, I am withdrawing my nomination from the post of Prime Minister, in favour of the dear brother Haider al Abbadi, for the sake of the best interests of the country.'
Abbadi is from the same Shia political party as Maliki.
So, can he succeed where Maliki failed, reach out to Sunnis and Kurds, form a new, inclusive coalition - and stitch the country back together?
Presenter: Sohail Rahman
Ghassan al Attiyah - Director of the Iraqi Foundation for Development and Democracy.
Mark Kimmitt - Former US State Department official, retired Brigadier General - and former Deputy Director of Operations for Coalition Forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Nickolay Mladenov - UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq.
Source: Al Jazeera