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Sadr Calls for Change in National Iraqi Alliance | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Prominent Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr speaks during news conference in Najaf, south of Baghdad, April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Baghdad, London – Two days after Shi’ite Supreme Religious Authority Ali Sistani refused to receive the National Iraqi Alliance delegation, Sadrist Movement Leader Muqtada al-Sadr said this was a “public rejection” for the current alliance.

Sadr issued a statement saying that coalition should reconsider the reasons for this rejection, and he presented 12 suggestions for the alliance in order to work for a better Iraq. He also showed his willingness to cooperate to reconstruct the alliance in a new form.

In his statement, Sadr called for change in the political alliance as well as internal and public policies. He asked for the corrupt to be held accountable for their actions and called the officials at the alliance to listen to the demands of the people.

In addition, Sadr asked for the support of the Iraqi army and security forces.

He further stressed that the Religious Authority represents people, and thus its rejection to meet with the delegation, means a public rejection.

He concluded his statement with his offer to cooperate for building a better Iraq, and said: “I have offered once before my support to establish the coalition in a different manner with new faces in power, if you are willing, I am fully ready to cooperate again even though I am not a member of the coalition.”

On Friday, Religious Authority refused to be involved in the “historical settlement” plan that was presented by the coalition, which some parties later recanted. The plan was then adopted by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq led by Ammar al-Hakim.

Sistani refused to meet the delegation chaired by Hakim and called the coalition to listen to the demands of the protests.

Hamed al-Khaffaf, spokesman of Sistani, stressed in a statement that the presidency of the National Iraqi Coalition and its delegation requested an appointment to meet with Sayyid Sistani, who apologized as he has always done before.

Khaffaf added that the Religious Authority refused to meet with the delegation for the same reasons he had decided to boycott all political powers, which were mentioned in the statement issued following the first demands movement.

The spokesperson added that the coalition wanted to include the Religious Authority in the settlement, which Sayyid Sistani didn’t see beneficial nor helpful.