World Bulletin / News Desk
Prominent Shia preacher Moqtada al-Sadr has called for a comprehensive change in Baghdad’s government led by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, and the formulation of a government of "technocrats".
The call on Friday came less than a week after the recent partial Cabinet reshuffle.
Al-Sadr, who is the leader of the Sadrist movement, in a statement called for a comprehensive change in the government and the formation of an independent government of technocrats, in addition to the prosecution of all corrupt people since the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 until this day.
The call comes less than a week after the Iraqi parliament's approval for the appointment of five new ministers in the government of al-Abadi, as successors of ministers from the National Alliance, which is a coalition involving most of the Shia political streams who had submitted their resignations, including three ministers from the "Sadrists movement”.
Abdul Aziz al-Zalmi, a member of Iraq's Al-Ahrar bloc, a Sadrist Shia political coalition in the Iraqi parliament, said his bloc embraces a comprehensive change in the government, in order to ensure the existence of a government of technocrats independent from the political parties.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Zalmi added: “The next phase demands the formation of a government of technocrats in order to guarantee its success in its task away from the political blocks.”
Last Monday, the Iraqi parliament voted with majority in favor of assuming to office of five nominees for ministerial positions, including ministers of oil, construction and housing, transportation, higher education, and water resources, while the parliament refused to grant confidence to the candidate of the Ministry of Trade.
Earlier in July, al-Abadi officially accepted the resignation of seven ministers from his Cabinet, which were all from the "National Alliance".
The political crisis in Iraq has intensified since March, when the Iraqi premier sought to the formation of a government of technocrats, rather than ministers belonging to political parties in an attempt to combat corruption, but the influential parties obstructed this step; this crisis has caused the greatest political challenge yet to al-Abadi, who belongs to the ruling coalition.
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured the northern city of Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.