Iraq’s parliament has approved the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi following weeks of unrest.
It is unclear who will take over from Mr Abdul Mahdi. The parliament speaker said President Barham Saleh would be asked to name a new prime minister.
Meanwhile the Pope has become the latest figure to condemn security forces’ use of lethal force.
Some 400 people have been killed since protests began in Baghdad and other cities at the start of October.
Thousands more have been injured. Iraqis are demanding jobs, an end to corruption and better public services.
On Sunday clashes continued in cities including Baghdad and Najaf.
The decision by parliament to approve Mr Abdul Mahdi’s resignation was made in an emergency session called on Sunday.
Existing laws in Iraq do not clearly set out a way for members of parliament to deal with a prime minister’s resignation, but lawmakers on Sunday acted on the legal opinion of the supreme court, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Under the constitution, the president is expected to ask the largest bloc in parliament to nominate a new prime minister to form a government.
Mr Abdul Mahdi and his government will stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new government is chosen, reports say.