Shia cleric Sadr calls on Iraq government to resign

June 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Published in: Iraq, Middle East, News

Iraq’s firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr has renewed calls for Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi’s government to resign.
“I call on the current Iraqi government to tender its resignation,” al-Sadr said in a statement on Saturday.
He went on to threaten that unless the government resigns, he “will join calls demanding the resignation of Iraq’s three presidencies (parliament, government and presidency).”

In April, al-Sadr decided to freeze the activities of his Ahrar bloc, which has 34 seats on the 328-member parliament, stumbling efforts by opposition lawmakers to reach quorum to vote on the ouster of the three presidencies in Iraq.

Iraq has suffered a deepening political crisis since March, when Al-Abadi — under mounting pressure to reign in rampant state corruption — attempted to form a government of “technocrats” untainted by corruption or sectarian affiliations.

Iraq’s various political parties, however, including a number of Shia ones, have until now blocked the new “technocrat” government from being drawn up.

Supporters of the Shia cleric have been staging protests over the past four months to demand Al-Abadi to replace his politically affiliated ministers with independent technocrats with a view to fighting rampant corruption in the country.

Iraq ranks 161st out of 168 countries on Transparency International’s “corruption perceptions index”