Al-Sadr wants US withdrawal guarantee

An influential Iraqi Shia Muslim leader has tied his participation in the country's 30 January elections to the departure of foreign forces, dominated by more than 140,000 US troops.

    Al-Sadr seeks a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq

    Issuing the statement in Najaf on Tuesday, Muqtada al-Sadr said he was asking other religious leaders to push for a guarantee of immediate departure of foreign "occupation" troops after the elections.

     

    "Otherwise, our participation will be unlikely," the statement added.

     

    No member of al-Sadr's movement, which earlier was in direct conflict with US troops, features on the main Shia list submitted for candidate registration.

     

    But up to 70 other political parties - most of whom have similarly threatened to boycott elections at various times - have registered, according to Iraq's independent electoral commission on Tuesday.

     

    Election registration update

     

    Commission spokesman Farid Ayar said 79 blocs were at this point set to contest the election, roughly divided among nine coalitions.

       

    Ayar added that the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) has presented a list consisting of 275 candidates, which suggested they planned to participate.

       

    The IIP, the country's largest Sunni party, had threatened to boycott the poll unless it was postponed for six months amid relentless violence in Sunni areas.

     

    Political parties and blocs have one day remaining to register their lists for the poll, in which Iraqis are to elect a 275-seat National Assembly charged with drafting a constitution and appointing a new government.

       

    The full lists, with candidates names, will be made public on 20 December - just over a month before the ballot is to be held.  

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.