Sadr urges fresh protests to demand “technocrat” government

Muqtada al-Sadr.

Koufa ( Iraqi religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr has urged fresh massive protests for political reform and to demand a neutral government in Iraq.

Delivering a Friday prayer sermon in Kufa, Najaf, Sadr urged his followers to demonstrate in their millions to back  the appointment of a “technocrat” government through the upcoming elections.

He urged to ensure that the next government is “not affiliated with a militia or a political party”.

“I want to resume with you the project we had started at Tahrir Square through a million-man gathering in support for the election of an independent, technocrat government,” he stated.

He was referring to massive protests his followers staged in central Baghdad in response to his call in May to object to the formation of the commission tasked with supervising the parliament and local elections.  He had slammed the commission’s formation as unbalanced. Some of the protests he had called for turned violent.

Late October, the Iraqi government named May 15 as a date for parliament elections.

Sadr, a firebrand cleric and political leader, in charge of his own militia,  has been seeking to embolden his image as a nationalist figure whose orientations can transcend sectarian calculations and militia influences.

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