Sadr Says He's Not Behind Delay in Cabinet Formation

Sadr Says He's Not Behind Delay in Cabinet Formation

Wednesday, 28 November, 2018 - 09:30
Muqtada al-Sadr. Reuters
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Leader of the Sadrist Movement Muqtada al-Sadr denied on Tuesday being the reason behind the delay in the formation of the Iraqi cabinet.

"I am not behind delaying the conclusion of cabinet formation, but I am behind postponing their plots," Sadr said on his Twitter account.

He accused some parties, who refuse anti-corruption reforms, of working together "to bring back the corrupt people" against the will of the Iraqi people.

He addressed the political blocs in a tweet after postponing the parliamentary session, which was expected to vote Tuesday on the candidates for the remaining eight ministerial posts in Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet.

He questioned them about the reasons why they are calling on him to accept the quota and corruption and sell the country while he is working on their survival and preservation of Iraq’s pride and dignity.

Sadr also made it clear that he will only approve the candidates who are free of any political affiliation to take the office at the ministries of interior and defense.

“I will not accept a minister of defense or interior who is affiliated [to a political party],” Sadr said in a statement on his official Twitter account.

“I urge the prime minister to move swiftly to fill the cabinet posts that are still vacant, except for those of defense and interior,” he said.

“I cannot throw my support behind individuals who are not independent who have been nominated for these two cabinet postings,” he added. He stressed also that the such two vital ministerial portfolios should be filled with independent cadres in order to maintain Iraq’s dignity and independence and not to allow any country to interfere in Iraq’s domestic affairs.

At the end of his tweet, Sadr suggested that Abdul Mahdi should open the door for “great commanders,” who liberated Iraq from ISIS militants, to run for the defense and interior ministries instead, adding that “our neighbors are our friends, not our masters.”

In this context, Sairoon spokesman Qahtan al-Jubouri told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sadr’s decision to grant freedom to the Prime Minister in selecting his cabinet members and abandoning quotas’ approach represents a lifeline for the political process.

“Sadr's suggestion to Abdul Mahdi to choose the ministers of defense and the interior from those who fought terrorism is the best solution to the problem we have been experiencing due to the lack of consensus on the candidates for these two important portfolios,” Jubouri noted.

He pointed out that if political blocs want to raise to the level of challenges and agree with the directives of the religious reference, they must work to prove this by choosing the interests of the country and its citizens instead of their partisan, sectarian and narrow interests, which are completely rejected by all Iraqis.

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