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  Politics
Iraq PM warns against civil disobedience
04/01/2013   |   10:41 PM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
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 demonstrate.
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) mhg.gb KUNA 042241 Jan 13NNNN
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