Iraq: PM Abadi asked to resign over protests in Basra

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been asked by two dominant groups in Iraqi Parliament to tender his resignation due to growing escalation in violence in Basra due to inefficient and disrupted public services. The violence has left 12 people dead. The protestors have set the Iranian consulate to fire.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sairoon coalition, has called for the government to step down during an emergency Parliamentary session. The Fateh Alliance, also denounced the failure of the government to handle the situation.

Al-Abadi, on his part, has stated that the whole scene is merely ‘political sabotage’ and that the whole issue is being exploited for political ends. Prime Minister Al-Abadi, also accused the governor of Basra over the situation. Latter is also the Speaker of the Parliament.

The province of Basra has been burning since Tuesday, with demonstrations going violent and protestors burning the government buildings, the offices and spaces of militias favouring Iran and also the Iranian consulate. The protests went out of control after 30000 people in the province were hospitalised for drinking polluted water. Residents of the area have put repeated complaints about the chronic power and water shortages in addition to corruption and unemployment. Few hours before the Parliamentary session, four rockets were hit by unidentified men at the Basra airport. This was one day after the protestors had torched the Iranian consulate. The Joint Operations Command of Iraq which comprises both the army and the police, had pledged to take stern action and response spanning exceptional security measures and also a ban on group travel and demonstrations.

PM has ordered the security services to move to Basra and bring the situation under control. If, the government will not address the concerns of the protestors the situation can go out of control.


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