Iraq’s top cleric voices support for newly designated premier

Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has urged lawmakers to cooperate with the country’s newly designated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to form a new government.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Safi, speaking on behalf of Grand Ayatollah Sistani in the holy city of Karbala, said on Friday that lawmakers should meet their historic responsibility. Al-Safi is a representative of Ayatollah al-Sistani.

The senior cleric added that a political transition is a rare opportunity to resolve Iraq’s political and security problems. He also called on the new government to battle corruption in the first place.

Ayatollah Sistani’s call comes a day after Premier al-Maliki stepped down and expressed support for a new coalition government which is expected to be formed by Abadi.

In its statement, al-Maliki’s Dawa Party has also “called on political blocs to cooperate with the constitutionally designated prime minister, Mr. Abadi, and accelerate the formation of a government in the defined time period.”

The party reportedly announced its decision after asking Ayatollah al-Sistani’s opinion on the matter. The top Iraqi Shia cleric said the new premier should have “broad national acceptance” and be able to work with other ethnic and religious leaders in the country.

Earlier in the month, Iraq’s new President Fouad Massoum appointed the deputy parliament speaker Abadi to form a new government. Al-Abadi has said that al-Maliki “will remain a fundamental partner in the Iraqi political process.”

The next government will have to deal with an unprecedented offensive led by the ISIL terrorists who have seized parts of the country’s north and west.

The ISIL terrorists have been committing heinous crimes in the areas they took, including the mass execution of civilians as well as Iraqi army troops and officers.

The terrorist groups have links with Saudi intelligence and are believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.

By Press TV


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