Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of the top Shi’ite Muslim cleric in Iraq said on December 6 that the election of the New Prime Minister of Iraq should not be based on foreign interference. The statement by the top cleric comes after incumbent Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned from his position last week.
During his sermon, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that the political leaders should choose the new Prime Minister in a fair manner by giving up on partisan politics. He further said that he will not participate in the election of the new leader for the country. The Prime Minister and the cabinet should be decided within the time limit as per the constitution. He also said there should be no foreign interference in choosing the representative.
The Prime Minister of Iraq Adel Abdul Mahdi announced on November 29 that he would submit his resignation letter to the Parliament after the government faced two months of violent widespread protests. His resignation came after the country's senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric forced the lawmakers to reconsider their support for a government that has been facing weeks of deadly anti-establishment unrest. The violence sparked in Southern Iraq killed at least 21 people. One protestor was killed in the central Baghdad as demonstrations continued which included scores of people sitting in at Tahrir Square in the Iraqi capital.
Iraq protesters have been demanding a change in the government for weeks now, which failed to meet the demands of the people. However, the mass demonstrations initially began to demand employment and jobs in an oil-rich country with a profound poverty problem. Young, unemployed and unarmed protesters have called for reelections. They said the government is endemically corrupt and serves foreign powers. Iraqi forces have killed hundreds of young, unarmed demonstrators people since mass anti-government protests broke out on October 1. A dozen security forces have died in clashes. At least 436 people have died in less than two months, according to the international media reports. The protestors have blocked the main roads in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as mass anti-government protests escalated. The demonstrators were seen parking their cars at major junctions of the city and the police did not intervene. Scores of people have taken part in the two phases of protests that started on October 1 demanding more jobs, better services and an end to corruption.