Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq’s parliamentary leader and former commander of the Mahdi Army militia, has put forth a list of requirements for Iraq’s next prime minister. Sadr’s Victory Coalition political party won the majority of votes, 54 in total, this past parliamentary election by appealing to the general public and the low-income majority of Shiite citizens. A letter was released by Sadr‘s office declaring his demands of the governing officials as well as appealing to the general public of Iraq.
Sadr started his letter to the public by stating that all of the nation’s people need to “stand seriously and carefully” to assist the nation in rising above its present “hard and critical” political hardships. His public address comes at a sensitive time for Iraq and especially the predominantly Shiite southern cities as mass protests have spread throughout the region over poor infrastructure, services and a high rate of unemployment. Perhaps this is his plan though — because, in conjunction with those things, protesters are also demanding that the government put a stop to corruption at all levels.
Sadr claimed in his letter that the majority of “corrupt” political officials have transitioned out or have been put on trial for their wrongdoing. He added that the “protesting soul” has taken hold of the nation and its people, something that has been made very clear to the government through the many people excising their rights by going out into the streets to protest. Sadr’s campaign, alongside its partner Communist Party of Iraq, centered around putting a stop to corruption in the current government. His letter added that,
“We shouldn’t return to any type of sectarian alliances, and to remain under the national framework, which will make everyone partners in building a homeland. That is why I will boycott any alliance or any government program that isn’t under the national framework.”
Sadr described his list of incoming Prime Minister requirements as the “basics … that could become a declaration for an alliance,” and were as follows:
The new Iraqi Prime Minister must,
- Be independent of influence outside of the parliament
- Not have dual citizenship
- Be acceptable on the national level and known for his patriotic stance
- Have total jurisdiction in his work and no political party interference
- Not run for future elections
- Not work off ethnic, sectarian, national or party lines
- Not pander to external pressures that violate the sovereignty of Iraq
- Maintain a good reputation and be bilingual
- Be just and fair, not use brute force against any side
- Pursue the end of political party interference in the government
Featured image: Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, carry his image as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq. The unexpected alliance between Iraq’s mercurial Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and an Iran-backed coalition of powerful Shiite militias, who fought Islamic State group, will boost Tehran interests in Iraq and give it more leverage over the process of forming the next government. | AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File
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