Iraq’s Sistani: Politicians from past years should not try for prime minister

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Iraq’s Supreme Shiite spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s office released a statement that he was not supportive of “politicians who have been in authority in the past years” nominating themselves the becoming the country’s next prime minister.

In a statement released on Monday, Sistani’s office said earlier reports that he had rejected specific individuals for the position of prime minister were inaccurate and cited his agreement with Iraqi constitution that dictates the largest parliamentary bloc with right to name a candidate.


“From here, rejection hasn’t been expressed by the religious Marja. It didn’t name any individuals to a certain side concerning the matter, but multiple sides which communicated with it [the Marja] — directly or indirectly — was told that it doesn’t support the next prime minister if it is chosen from the politicians who have been in authority in the past years, without distinguishing between the party individuals or the independents,” the statement published on Sistani’s website read.

Earlier in the day, Sabah al-Saedi, an official in the Sairoon Alliance that is part of the Reform and Construction Bloc, said he was “officially” informed that top Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani refuses five of the proposed names for the premiership, including Haider al-Abadi.

Saedi said that Sistani informed the Iranian negotiator in a meeting in Najaf that Haider al-Abadi, Nouri al-Maliki, Hadi al-Amiri, Falih Alfayyadh and Tariq Najm “have no luck” in holding a premiership post in the next Iraqi cabinet.

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