Ayatollah Sistani wants new Iraqi Prime Minister not from previous figures

The office of Shiite top cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, refuted claims by opponents of the religious authority concerning Ayatollah Sistani’s remarks on election of Iraq’s next prime minister.

‘Ayatollah Sistani has said the next prime minister of Iraq should be elected from among political figures who have not had the post in the previous governments,’ a source close to Ayatollah Sistani said.

The source in the statement, which was posted on Ayatollah Sistani’s official website on Monday, said that the Supreme Religious Authority of Iraq has only announced that he will not approve new prime minister if he is a political person who has been in government for many years.

The statement follows a number of statements by new Iraqi parliamentarians and political figures who claimed in the past few days that the supreme religious authority in Najaf, has been opposed to certain individuals for the post of prime minister.

Among these figures are the current Prime Minister Haydar al-Abbadi, former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki, Hadi Al-Amari Fatah fraction leader, Faleh al-Fayyadh former adviser to the prime minister for security affairs, and Tariq Najm, a member of the Islamic Da’wa’s Party.

This source, close to the office of Ayatollah Sistani, in response to allegations Attributed to Iraq’s supreme religious authority regarding the opposition to their nomination for the post of prime minister, said that this is not precise because the nomination of a prime minister according to the constitution is one of the powers of the great fraction of the parliament, and others have no right to oppose it.

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