Iraq’s Sadr Hails Ministers’ Resignation

Iraq’s Sadr Hails Ministers’ Resignation Iraq’s Sadr Hails Ministers’ Resignation

Prominent Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday welcomed this week’s resignation of seven government ministers, urging remaining Cabinet members to follow suit.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi accepted the resignation of six members of his government, including the ministers of interior, industry, petroleum, transportation, housing and construction and water resources, World Bulletin reported.

The following day, Hussein al-Shahristani, minister of higher education and scientific research, also resigned, leaving a total of seven ministerial portfolios vacant.

On Thursday, Sadr hailed the mass resignations and urged remaining Cabinet members to do likewise.

“I commend and support the prime minister’s decision to accept these resignations,” the firebrand cleric said in a statement.

“I hope the rest [i.e., remaining government ministers] will give priority to the public interest and answer the demands of the people by also submitting their resignations,” he asserted.

Sadr said vital government portfolios should go to “independent technocrats” who would “work for the benefit of Iraq and not for the benefit of the parties they represent”.

In recent months, Sadr’s supporters have frequently hit the streets of capital Baghdad to protest widespread government corruption and demand sweeping government reforms.