Iraqi cleric invites MPs to Najaf to resolve crisis

Iraqi cleric invites MPs to Najaf to resolve crisis
Iraqi lawmakers should make their way to Najaf and listen to advice from the religious clergy to resolve the country's political crisis, a senior cleric said on Friday.
2 min read
15 April, 2016
Mohammed Taqi al-Modaressi is a grand jurist in the Najaf-based Shia clergy [Getty]
A senior Iraqi cleric has called on members of parliament to visit the religious clergy in Najaf to discuss finding resolutions to the country's current crisis.

Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaressi urged the conflicting factions to compromise on demands in order to resolve the situation while inviting the political blocs to Najaf – the home of Iraq's Shia clergy – to "listen to advice from the scholars".

"There are several surrounding countries in the region that do not enjoy a democratic system like that which we have in Iraq," the cleric said in his weekly speech.

Meanwhile, Iraqi MP Manal al-Muslimawi said on Friday that an overall change to the cabinet would be a blow to the quotas and called upon actions to put the interest of the people ahead of party interests.

"We have to correct the course of the legislative institution, and everyone must work hard to achieve the interests of the Iraqi people who have long suffered from oppression, poverty, financial and administrative corruption," she added as she demanded an end to large thefts of money belonging to the Iraqi people.

On Thursday Iraqi lawmakers voted to remove the parliament speaker and his deputies amid a major row over the cabinet line-up that has caused chaos in the legislature, following postponements earlier this week.

In response to the move, Juburi issued a statement saying that the session, which he did not attend, was unconstitutional and that the required quorum of 165 was not reached.

The session held "in the absence of the presidency of parliament is unconstitutional and lacked the necessary quorum," the statement said.

Thursday's session was set to see the current cabinet of party-affiliated ministers replaced by a technocratic government, despite significant resistance from powerful political parties who fear that the new appointments could weaken their political patronage networks, limiting their cash-flow and influence.

Abadi had presented his list of ministerial nominees but some of his initial nominations withdrew their names under pressure from political blocs as parties pushed for their own candidates.

Scuffles broke out in parliament this week as the country's political crisis continues.

Iraq is also facing a financial crisis, which many blame on the corruption of Iraqi politicians.