Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has submitted his resignation to the country’s parliament after intense anti-government demonstrations and a call for change from the country’s top Shia leader. Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi’s resignation followed a particularly violent day of protests in which over 50 people were killed by security forces. Since demonstrations began in October, security forces have used tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition to suppress protesters. The violent crackdown has left hundreds of Iraqi civilians dead and thousands wounded. Demonstrations, sparked by widespread anger over corruption, failing public services, and mass unemployment, have shocked Baghdad and several cities in the south of Iraq. Following the violent crackdown, Iraq’s top Shia leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for a change in leadership. During his weekly sermon, Al-Sistani called upon the House of Representatives, which elected the current government, to reconsider its options.