Baghdad demos end after PM proposes new Iraq govt

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr requests supporters to abandon sit-in

Baghdad demos end after PM proposes new Iraq govt

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced late Thursday the end to sit-ins organized by his supporters in front of the Green Zone in central Baghdad.

Al-Sadr’s move came after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had submitted his new cabinet line-up to the parliament.

“I request you to end your sit-in in front of the Green Zone. […] You should withdraw in an organized way,” al-Sadr said in a message to supporters camped outside Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, which includes government institutions and the parliament.

He however, called on his supporters to “continue organizing demonstrations after Friday prayers in Baghdad and provinces to demand reforms”.

Al-Sadr had warned that his bloc in parliament would vote to withdraw confidence from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi if the latter failed to appoint a new government by Thursday.

Al-Sadr’s "Ahrar" bloc in parliament holds 34 seats in the 328-seat.

On Monday, parliament gave al-Abadi a three-day deadline to present a new cabinet line-up or face a vote of no-confidence.

The move came amid large protests by al-Sadr’s supporters aimed at pressuring the prime minister to appoint a government of "technocrats" untainted by corruption or sectarianism -- both of which, critics say, have hamstrung Iraq’s previous post-invasion governments.

Last summer, Iraq’s parliament approved a sweeping raft of reforms proposed by al-Abadi. The reforms are aimed at meeting popular demands to eliminate government corruption and streamline state bureaucracy. 

Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2016, 09:19
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