Iraqi Shiite Leader Muqtada al-Sadr returns ,and announces referendum on public services

JNN 25 Feb 2011 : Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday paid a surprise visit to Najaf coming from Iran, according to a source from the political bureau of the Sadrist bloc.

The source gave no further details regarding the visit.

Al-Sadr had recommended conducting a one week referendum in all provinces of Iraq including Kurdistan In a statement read out by Al Sadr Front senior official Hazem Al Aaraji, Al Sadr explained that the referendum consists of asking people questions on their requirements of daily services.

The referendum inquires about the possibility for the people to carry out peaceful demonstrations without seizing public money in case the government fails to meet their demands within six months.

Iraq’s influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has announced a public referendum to be conducted across Iraq concerning the services provided to Iraqi citizens, a Sadrist Current deputy said on Wednesday.

Hazim al-Araji told AK news that the referendum will be conducted on Monday by all offices of the Sadrist Current in Iraq including the Kurdistan region on February 28, adding that the objective of the referendum is to deliver the citizens’ demands to the Iraqi government.

Araji went on to attribute many of the shortcomings in public services to the damage caused by previous governments but added that “that some ministers in the current government don’t have the ability to manage their ministries”.

In reference to the public demonstration scheduled to take place on Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday, the Sadrist MP said the proposed referendum would be a more effective way for the Iraqi public to voice their demands.

“Al-Sadr supports the demands of the demonstrators, but doesn’t support the demonstration,” he said

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