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Saturday, August 8, 2015
Thousands of Iraqis protest against government in Baghdad and in the South
Iraqis protest against government's corruption
and incompetence (Image: Middle East Eye)
Thousands of Iraqis went to the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities in the South to protest against Iraqi government. Protesters chanted against the current government accusing it of corruption, lack of reforms and inability to rebuild the country and against the poor public services including electricity, as most of Iraqis constantly face massive power cuts.
Iraqi top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani who is a very influencial figure urged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi earlier this day to find new means for fighting state's corruption and to start the real reforms in the country. Iraqi South is predominantly Shia region that has many influencial political parties annd powers shaping current Iraqi politics. These calls for changes and protesters' demands that the government has to be held accountable for the state of affairs in the country became a seriouse challenge for Iraqi Shia-led government. Thus, thousands of protesters flock to the streets of Baghdad that faces weeks of demonstrations against poor quality of services blaming services' crisis on corruption and incompetence of Iraqi authorities. Protesters chanted and called that the government has to be held accountable and carried banners and black coffins symbolizing death of current political parties and state services. Iraqis protest against the government not only in Baghdad, but in many other Southern cities including Basra, Najaf, Karbala, Nasiriyah and Hilla. Among the protesters' demands are effective reforms, improving publuc services including electricity and finding new ways and means to fight corruption. Protests' organisers also stress that these rallies are not against particular political powers and figures but rather against the system. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi stated in the wake of the protests that he and his government will draft the plan to fight corruption and that he invited the country's political parties and powers to cooperate.