Politics & Economics

Iraqi Protesters Reject Parties' Candidates For Prime Minister

Iraq

Iraqi Protesters have once again rejected the prime ministerial candidate. The rejection comes a day after President Barham Salih refused to nominate a candidate of the Bina Bloc.

SULAIMANI — Iraqi protesters have once again expressed their opposition to prime ministerial candidates nominated by the establishment political parties, a day after President Barham Salih refused to nominate a candidate of al-Bina parliamentary bloc.

Reporting from Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Friday (December 27), NRT Digital Media’s Omed Mohammed said that anti-government protests were continuing and that demonstrators were determined to see their demands met.

They also expressed their support for President Barham Salih, who sided with demonstrators on Thursday by rejecting al-Bina’s candidate, Asaad al-Eidani, and threatening to resign if a nomination was not made that could receive approval from the street.

“It is a good step that the president has submitted his letter of resignation to parliament, that is the demand of the people, and we respect that stance. We want early elections, we don’t want any party,” one protester told NRT.

“The [president’s] step was very brave. We support it and all officials should step down, like President Barham Salih,” a protest organizer known as Umm Sultan said.

She added that candidates for prime minister should be nominated by the people.

Protesters who spoke to NRT mentioned both Tamadon Alliance lawmaker Fayaq Sheikh Ali and former commander of Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service Abdulwahab Saadi as possibilities.

The protesters argued that there should be a transitional government for the next six months until an early election can be held, the reporter said.

Iraq has been rocked by anti-government protests for nearly three months. Initially the demonstrators wanted the government to do more to fight corruption, increase job opportunities, and improve public services, but they are now adamant that the current government and parties should be swept aside and new elections held.

Protesters have repeatedly rejected candidates floated by the parties, saying that they will not accept anyone who previously served in government.

More than 497 people have been killed and over 17,000 others have been wounded since the protests began on October 1, according to the High Commission for Human Rights. Local and international rights watchdogs have condemned the killings.

Article: NRT

Image: AFP