Iraq's Shiite cleric Sadr calls for anti-corruption demonstrations on Friday

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-04 01:28:43|Editor: ying
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday called Iraqi people to hold massive demonstrations across Iraq on Friday against wide spread corruption.

"I wish the people are aware of what corrupt politicians are engaged with a dirty scheme to restore corruption which will not only control the people's food, but also their necks and blood. So that they would stage demonstration by millions to determine their fate," Sadr said in a statement by his office.

Sadr pointed out that the "sectarian storm," which engulfed the Iraqi people after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, made many Iraqis to close their eyes about what the politicians and the parliament blocs were doing.

He said the politicians, who were seen as corrupts by many Iraqis, are planning to bring a new electoral commission and to approve an election law for the provincial elections that would take into account the interests of the same old large parliamentary blocs, according to the statement.

Sadr demanded "a mass demonstration tomorrow (Friday) in Tahrir Square (In central Baghdad) and in the provinces. Demonstrations that will reveal the will of the people."

Sadr's comments came two days after the parliament passed 21 articles of the draft of the coming provincial elections slated for 2018, including an article stating Saint-Lague system in counting the votes for the provincial councils' seats.

Sadr and many political parties see the counting method is serving the interests of the large political parties.

Sadr followers held many massive rallies in the past few years. In one occasion, the protestors broke into part of the Green Zone, including storming the parliament building.

The popular protests forced Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to make some reforms, which were aimed at confronting the country's economic crisis due to the sharp decrease in oil prices in global markets at the time that the security forces were in full-combat with Islamic State terrorist group in the country.

However, Abadi's reforms, first gained popular support, but with the passing of time the reforms fell short to convince demonstrators who demanded that Abadi be more aggressive against the political parties that benefited from corruption and could reverse the reforms to their own good.