Abadi welcomes Iraq’s top clergyman’s speech on election

Iraq’s Vice President Nouri al-Maliki (L) and new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi shake hands during the session to approve the new government in Baghdad, September 8, 2014.Iraq’s parliament approved a new government headed by Haider al-Abadi as prime minister on Monday night, in a bid to rescue Iraq from collapse, with sectarianism and Arab-Kurdish tensions on the rise. REUTERS/Hadi Mizban/Pool (IRAQ – Tags: POLITICS) – RTR45G35

Baghdad ( Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on Friday, welcomed a speech by the country’s top man of religion which seemed to disfavor Abadi’s political nemesis.

“We express our full support to the stances and directives of the supreme religious authority led by Mr. Ali al-Sistani which were expressed during the Friday sermon”, Abadi’s office said in a statement.

“We particularly point to his call for wide participation on the election and proper selection,” the statement added, urging voters to “avoid repetition of past failed experiments”.

Sistani had warned voters against the re-election of what he described as “the failed and the corrupt, whether they were tested previously or not”. Observers believe he was hinting at Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, Abadi’s most prominent election contender and a former premier who had been blamed for Islamic State militants’ take over of Iraqi territories in 2014.

Edicts by Sistani, Iraq’s top Shia clergyman, are inviolable for the country’s Shia majority. His call for arms against Islamic State militants in 2014 is credited by Shia politicians for victory over the Sunni extremist group.

Iraq’s first parliament elections after the elimination of Islamic State are slated for 12th of this month.


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