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Sadr calls on al-Maliki to resign | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat –The smaller parliamentary blocs in the Iraqi Council of Representatives will most likely play a significant role in the vote on withdrawing confidence from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, due to the fact that these parliamentary blocs split from larger blocs. These smaller blocs include the “White Iraqiya” bloc which split from the Iraqiya parliamentary bloc, as well as the “Free Iraqiya bloc”, which split from the “White Iraqiya” bloc, itself a splinter-bloc.

An Iraqi parliamentarian, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, revealed that “the smaller blocs have yet to make up their minds on the issue of withdrawing confidence [from Prime Minister al-Maliki]” adding “these blocs are seeking to make the most of this opportunity, for they are marginalized, on the one hand by the larger blocs that they split from, and the large bloc that is in power on the other…so they now have the opportunity to achieve some personal gains for their members, not to mention electoral gains, if they line up behind the side that will ultimately triumph.”

The MP also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “these blocs were originally formed by relying on others, and when they reached parliament they split from them, and today they are moving closer to this party or that party to obtain what they view as additional gains that they would otherwise be deprived of.”

The source revealed that “al-Maliki has worked in advance to win the votes of these blocs and independent MPs…by brandishing ministerial positions, funds or other gains.”

For her part, Iraqiya bloc spokesperson Maysoon al-Damluji told Asharq Al-Awsat that “we, along with the Kurdistan Alliance, the Ahrar bloc of the Sadrist trend and other members of the National Alliance, as well as the State of Law coalition itself, are committed to moving forward in the process to withdraw confidence from al-Maliki.”

The Iraqiya bloc also issued an official statement calling on the National Alliance “to find an alternative to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, to spare Iraq further crises.” The statement stressed that “the partners in the National Alliance must quickly find an alternative to al-Maliki, to spare Iraq further crises which would open the scene to the forces of evil, the crime of [foreign] infiltration and cause sedition amongst the Iraqi people.”

In this regard, Sadrist trend leader Moqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to resign “for the sake of the Iraqi people and the political partners”.

“We say, complete your (good work) and announce your resignation, for the sake of the people…and for the sake of partners” Moqtada al-Sadr said in a statement addressing al-Maliki which was released by his political office on Sunday.

The statement added “do yourself a favor and announce your resignation for the sake of the [Iraqi] people who only want a loaf of bread, and for the sake of partners who only want partnership.”

This statement was issued on the eve of al-Sadr’s visit to Tehran to discuss the Iraqi political crisis, according to informed sources. Observers believe that al-Sadr’s visit to Iran represents an indication of Iranian intervention in defense of al-Maliki, particularly as al-Sadr is one of the most prominent figures to call for his resignation.

Al-Sadr’s call for al-Maliki to resign comes at a time when the political crisis in Iraq is intensifying, reaching unprecedented levels since the beginning of the withdrawal of US troops from the country more than six months ago.