Sistani ushers out Iraq’s Maliki , calls for a new “effective” government.

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Iraq's top Shiite religious authority Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Iraq’s top Shiite religious authority Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
With Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. military advisers heading to Iraq, political support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was dealt a serious blow Friday with a call by the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiite majority for a new, “effective” government.

“It is necessary for the winning political blocs to start a dialogue that yields an effective government that enjoys broad national support, avoids past mistakes and opens new horizons toward a better future for all Iraqis,” al-Sistani said in a message delivered by his representative Ahmed al-Safi in the holy city of Karbala.

The Iranian-born recluse, who lives in the holy city of Najaf south of Baghdad, is deeply revered by Iraq’s Shiites.

The cleric’s thinly veiled comments suggested that the prime minister was to blame for the nation’s crisis as Sunni militants have joined forces with the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

It was al-Sistani’s appeal last week that prompted thousands of Shiites to volunteer to fight against the military threat by ISIS.

Al-Sistani’s Friday sermon also called for the newly elected parliament to begin work and start the process of forming the next government without delay, Reuters reports. Maliki’s party won the most seats in last month’s election, but his coalition fell short of a majority.

The none-too-subtle vote of no-confidence in al-Maliki follows equally lukewarm remarks by President Obama toward the prime minister in announcing that he is sending up to 300 U.S. troops to Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces and target insurgents.

“We’ve said publicly, that whether (al-Maliki) is prime minister or any other leader aspires to lead the country, that there has to be an agenda in which Sunni, Shiite and Kurd all feel that they have the opportunity to advance their interest through the political process,” Obama said Thursday.

“Only leaders that can govern with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together and help them through this crisis,” Obama said.

It was a theme echoed by Kerry, who will be heading to Baghdad this weekend. He told reporters in Washington that the only way to fight the militant group “is through strong coordination by Iraqi leaders across the full spectrum of Iraqi society and with the support of the surrounding nations.”

“The next days will decide whether or not that is the direction chosen, but it is really in the hands of Iraqis to determine their future, and we will do everything in our power to keep faith with our soldiers who expended so much in the effort to provide Iraqis with exactly this kind of a choice,” Kerry said. “But it is truly up to the leaders now to make those choices, and we’ll do everything we can to encourage it.”

Critics have accused al-Maliki of marginalizing — and angering — the country’s Sunni and Kurdish populations. Sunnis, who were dominant in the military and government of the now-ousted Saddam Hussein, have joined forces with ISIL in the recent upsurge in violence.

The revolt was sparked in large part by al-Maliki’s efforts last year to crush protests by Sunnis complaining of discrimination under his Shiite-led government.

Militants have taken over the city of Fallujah in the western, Sunni-dominated province of Anbar and parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi. Iraqi army and police forces battling them for months have been unable to take most areas back.

Iraqi Kurds, who are dominant in the northern regions, have likewise accused al-Maliki of ignoring their interests and excluding them from decision-making positions in government.

In a sign of the sharpening economic and military pressure, militants and government forces are battling for control of the Beiji refinery, the country’s largest, 155 miles north of Baghdad.

By late Thursday, the two sides held different parts of the refinery, which is spread over several square miles of desert.

The army officer in charge of protecting the refinery told The Associated Press on Friday that he believed the militants were regrouping to launch a new attack after his forces repelled one Thursday night. There was no immediate way to independently verify his claims.

The facility’s production accounts for just over a quarter of the country’s entire refining capacity. It goes strictly toward domestic consumption for gasoline as well as fuel for cooking and power stations.

USA Today/The Associated Press

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5 responses to “Sistani ushers out Iraq’s Maliki , calls for a new “effective” government.”

  1. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    Will Maliki understand and quit,
    Or will he, like bashar, burn the country for a chair?

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      We can wait … and wait to know what Ali al-Sistani really means by ‘an effective government’. Iran has an ‘effective’ one, after all. 😉

  2. Rascal Avatar

    Sadly the real powers in the region all have a rag on their head, ayatollahs and clerics. Sad indeed, and until this changes there will always be bloody sectarian conflict.

  3. zabada Avatar

    At Once the prophet pbuh use to prayed ,sunat payer,with hundreds of verses in that sunat prayer.Once he use to prayed in the night,solat sunat or sunat payer too many rakaat and his feet swollen.God not urge the prohet to do that.So by wahabis or Salafi point,the prophet pbuh eventually commit bid,ah or innovation?.If the prohet can do ,bid,ah in good things,so we are.That is not bid,ah but sunnah.Muslim scholars name this as good annovation or in arabic bid,ah hasanah,or mahmudah.We allowed to do more ibadah,but in sunat and not the fardhu.Bid,ah is the word that was used by Muhammad abdul wahab and Ibnu saud to gain politic in Saudi Arabia long years ago.Both said muslims commit too many bid,ah and then many ignorant people hate sunni at that time and by that ways they gained politic power in Jaziratul Arab.Both muhammad abdul wahab and Ibnu Saud won and got Jaziratul Arabia and named with his name Saudi Arabia.That the root of bid,ah at this modern days.That why this kind of believe called Wahabi,who always called other muslims is doing bid,ah..Likely to Syiah how they gained politic in Iran,They preaching hate to the companions of the prophet and all sunni.Then all Parsian hate all sunni and they fought sunni and got Iran at their hands.Many great muslim scholars such Imam Malik,Imam Bukhari, believe Syiah is not islam any more after political doctrine corrupted true teaching of islam in Syiah cult..Wahabis turn to arrogant and ignorant branch of Islam.That all about politic not religion.Why you became Ibnu Saud tool and always crying word bid,ah,since he already got Saudi Arabia for him self.Likely to Syiah ,why Syiit still hating the companion of the prophet,even they got Iran for themself.They even hate Sunnis till this days.You must know history to know all the chaos in this day in muslims world.All chaos linked to political events.You must aware this.None of muslims do bid,ah in their ibadah before.The prophet told us not to create new syariah .All Sunni like me not do that.Both Wahabis and Syiit continued their wrong interpretation on Islam as a political tool and destroyed many of it teaching.,including the meaning of bid,ah.Kingdom or monarchy is not sunnah because the companions of the prophet no practice that.Sunnah is what has done by the prophet and four compaions,four fist caliph..They practice a nice democracy.By that democracy is a sunnah in Islam.Otherwise kingdom or monarchy is not a sunnah.It is bid,ah or bad innovation..But wahabis not criticize this.They are weird.Now muslim turn to three major branch.Sunni,Wahabi or they called them self salafi and Syiah.On you to choice Sunni (Maliki,Hanbali,Syafie,and Hanafi).Avoid the two,Syiah and Wahabi.The prophet said,”On you with the majority”.Syiah about 10% of all muslims.Wahabi,less then 10%.So on you with sunnis.I only decide to save you to the truth and the very very right path.peace,

  4. Reasonableman Avatar
    Reasonableman

    Really? Another contradiction, you fight against the uprisings of sunnis in syria but in iraq you want an agenda?

    I think the raafida cleric and his followers need to look at their past and present before talking about an agenda.

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