BAGHDAD, 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.
"The recent 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
The 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.
Meanwhile, 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)
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