Sadrist followers demonstrate for change to election process in BaghdadBy [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [ltr]7 hours ago [/ltr]
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Ibrahim Jabri, Muqtada al-Sadr’s representative in Baghdad, speaks ahead of planned Feb. 8 protests in Baghdad. Photo: Rudaw video
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The parliament of Iraq was evacuated of politicians and journalists at noon on Wednesday ahead of scheduled demonstrations near the Green Zone in central Baghdad regarding provincial elections scheduled for April, Rudaw's Baghdad correspondent reported.
The anticipated protests come after Iraqi Shiite politician and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had called on people to demonstrate in the capital to demand changes to the country’s electoral commission.
“These protests are to change corrupt Iraqi officials altogether and to also change the members of the electoral commission who claim to be neutral but we believe work for political parties. As seen in past elections, fraud was 100 percent,” Ibrahim Jabri, Sadr’s representative in Baghdad, told Rudaw before the protests, referencing the 2014 elections.
A number of Baghdad’s bridges, streets and public spaces were also shut down or barricaded for security reasons.
Last month demonstrators marching towards Baghdad’s Freedom Square shortly after Friday prayers, called on the supreme Shiite cleric Ali Sistani to lend support to the demonstrations and denounce what they called “a corrupt government.”
January’s protesters called on Sadr to resume leadership of the protests.
“We also want to change ministers who are partisan and appointed by their parties and take away everything from the people of Iraq,” Jabri added.