Iraq's al-Sadr calls for fresh anti-corruption demos

Muqtada al-Sadr calls on followers to stage more demonstrations Friday to demand govt fight rampant corruption

Iraq's al-Sadr calls for fresh anti-corruption demos

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his followers to stage mass demonstrations in capital Baghdad on Friday to demand that the government adopt sweeping measures to fight state corruption.   

In a statement Monday, al-Sadr said demonstrators would call for "the eradication of [government] corruption and injustice and the dismissal of all corrupt officials". 

"Terrorism," he went on to assert, "is not the only enemy". 

Iraq has remained in the throes of a deepening political crisis since March, when Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi -- under mounting pressure to rein in corruption -- attempted to form a government of "technocrats" untainted by graft or sectarian affiliations. 

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

Al-Sadr’s supporters, meanwhile, have been staging protests over the past five months to demand that al-Abadi replace his Cabinet with independent "technocrats" mandated with fighting corruption. 

In April, the firebrand cleric froze the activities of his Ahrar bloc (which holds 34 of parliament’s 328 seats), effectively thwarting a parliamentary vote on whether or not to sack the president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2016, 15:48