Sadr gives 72 hours to vote on Iraq technocrats' cabinet

World Saturday 16/April/2016 23:23 PM
By: Times News Service
Sadr gives 72 hours to vote on Iraq technocrats' cabinet

Baghdad: Iraq's cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said on Saturday he would re-start protests in 72 hours if the nation's leaders failed to vote on a technocrats' cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi to stem corruption.
In a statement received from his office, Sadr addressed the warning to Abadi and the two other top state officials, President Fuad Masum and Parliament Speaker Salim AlJabouri.
Earlier in the day, the parliament canceled a session on anti-graft reforms on Saturday, state TV said, as some MPs disputed the legitimacy of the speaker to chair the meeting in an escalation of a political crisis crippling state institutions.
The session was scrapped because "parliament couldn't be secured" by the security forces, said a statement from the office of the speaker, Salim al-Jabouri.
The statement was apparently referring to MPs who say Jabouri has no right to chair the session and who met on Thursday in his absence, holding a ballot to oust him.
They say they have a majority in the assembly, which Jabouri disputes.
The dissenting MPs criticise Jabouri for not organising a session to grill Abadi over his proposed cabinet line-up.
Jabouri says it is the premier who failed to show up at the voting session he had called for on Thursday and that the quorum wasn't even reached to hold a simple debate.
Both sides say they have a majority.
State TV on Friday showed pictures of the assembly held by the dissenters on Thursday and counted 131 MPs.
The parliament has 328 seats.
Tussles between lawmakers broke out on Wednesday, a day after the first attempted vote.
Abadi has warned the crisis could hamper the war against IS militants who control regions in northern and western Iraq.