04/01/2013 | 10:41 PM | Gulf News
Jan 4 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on Friday warned
that "terrorist groups" were penetrating the ongoing mass protests in a
bid to drag the protests away from the peaceful track.
calls by extremists to turn the protests into civil disobedience only
serve external agendas and could undermine the entire political process
in Iraq," he cautioned.
"The protesters need to abide by specific
fundamentals, inter alia, barring the terrorists and armed groups from
the protests, and commitment to the peaceful approach to express the
legitimate popular demands and the provisions of the constitution," he
said in a press release received here by KUNA.
He also called on the
protesters to keep their distance from the ongoing "open war against
terrorism" while practicing their constitutional right to demonstrate.
Prime Minister praised the stance of religious leaders on the protests,
notably the Grand Mufti of Iraq Sheikh Abdulmalek Al-Saadi for denying
the terrorist the cover for pressing ahead with their hostile designs.
He also commended the military and security services for practicing the maximum self-restraint in the face of the protests.
Deputy Prime Minister for Services Saleh Al-Mutlaq suggested holding
early parliamentary elections as "a practical and mutually-acceptable
solution" to the current political crisis.
"The incumbent government
has to step down and a caretaker government should be in place in the
run-up to the elections in order to ensure transparency and credibility
of the polls under full-UN supervision," Al-Mutlaq said in a statement
by his press office.
The option of early elections can protect the
country against a lot of problems, he said, urging the government to
meet the demands of the protesters in order to restore the confidence of
the public in the political process.
Al-Maliki chairs the Islamic
Dawa Party - the main partner with the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council in
the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance which came to power after the
legislative elections of 2010, while Al-Mutlaq is a leading member of
the Iraqiya List, an umbrella of secular parties led by former prime
minister Ayad Allawi.
Commenting on the current crisis, Allawi said
the solution lies in the resignation of Al-Maliki's government and the
formation of a caretaker government to run the early legislative
elections. (end) mhg.gb KUNA 042241 Jan 13NNNN
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