Shia cleric Sadr urges Iraqis to remain steadfast following ballot depot blaze

Muqtada al-Sadr.

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on the Iraqi people to remain united and steadfast in their endeavor to build and reconstruct Iraq following yesterday’s huge blaze at a ballot paper depot in Baghdad.

“It is the proper time now to stand up to occupation and external influence,” Sputnik quoted Sadr as saying in a message published on his website a few hours after a blaze engulfed an election ballot warehouse in the Rasafa district of Baghdad.

“I will not sell my homeland for a (parliamentary) seat. I will not sell my people for power. Iraq is of great importance for me,” he noted, adding that the Iraqi people must remain united instead of burning ballot boxes or seeking re-election.

Yesterday, Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry Saad Maan said a fire had engulfed a depot used for storing electronic voting machines and some ballot papers in the capital Baghdad.

“The cause of the fire is still unknown,” he said, adding that a probe will be launched once the blaze is contained by firefighters at the scene.

According to the Iraqi election commission, A parliamentary coalition for Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 12 parliamentary polls, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-linked coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s Victory bloc (42 seats).

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