Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr 'against'
fall of current Iraqi government
April 28, 2012
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (L), Iraqi Kurdish
leader Massoud Barzani (R) and Shiite cleric Moqtada
al-Sadr (C) meet Photo: KRP.
See Related Links
ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —
Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr opposes
toppling the Iraqi government but discussed during a
visit to Kurdistan not renewing the premier's
mandate, Sadr Movement officials said on Friday.
Sadr arrived in the autonomous Kurdistan region on
Thursday, presenting himself as a mediator in a
crisis between Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani
and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
He met Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and top
Kurdistan officials in Erbil on Friday, a statement
on the Iraqi presidency's website said.
"Moqtada al-Sadr discussed a number of issues during
his visit to the Kurdistan region, among them not
renewing (the mandate of) Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki,"
who is currently in his second term as premier, said
Dhia al-Assadi, secretary general of Sadr's Al-Ahrar
Sadr emphasised the neutrality of his movement, and
"called for supporting the current government and
not overthrowing it, on the condition that all
Iraqis should participate in it," said Assadi.
Sadr also "emphasised the main ideology of the Sadr
Movement, which is based on the necessity of
providing services to Iraqis and taking care of
Iraqis, and that Iraq's wealth be for all Iraqis,"
Other issues discussed included "the problem between
the head of the (Kurdistan) region and the federal
government and the other political problems."
Another high-ranking Sadr Movement official
confirmed that Sadr had discussed not renewing
Maliki's mandate, but said there was no agreement on
as it requires a law to be approved by parliament.
"The prime minister already announced on more than
one occasion his intention to not be a candidate for
a third term and called for limiting the mandate of
the prime minister to two terms," the official said
on condition of anonymity.
Sadr met in Erbil on Friday with Talabani, Barzani,
the region's prime minister Nechirvan Barzani and
other officials, according to the statement on the
Those at the meeting "emphasised the necessity of
putting in place a full national programme where the
higher interests of the Iraqi people have the upper
hand over sectarian and party interests," it said.
Maliki said in a 2011 interview with AFP that he
would not seek a third term, and that he supported
constitutionally limiting a premier to two terms.
He first took office in 2006, and gained another
term in 2010 after more than nine months of
political deadlock and wrangling that followed
inconclusive parliamentary polls. His second term
expires in 2014.
Tensions remain high between Kurdistan chief Barzani
Barzani said on Sunday that he opposed the sale of
F-16 warplanes to Iraq while Maliki is premier, as
he fears they would be used against Kurdistan.
The Kurdish leader had previously accused Maliki of
moving towards dictatorship, and said the premier
aimed to "kill the democratic process" after the
head of Iraq's electoral commission was arrested for
Copyright ©, respective author or news agency,
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the
content of news information on this page