April 5, 2010

HIS SIGHTS ARE SET HIGHER THAN POLITICS:

Moktada al-Sadr, future Iraqi Prime Minister? (Scott Sadler, 04/05/10, Daily Caller)

Over the last few weeks, he has been called “kingmaker” in Iraqi politics. Now, the real question looms. Could Moktada al-Sadr be positioning himself for a future run as the Iraqi Prime Minister? As noted in a previous column, let there be no doubt that he remains one of the most influential religious and political figures in Iraq today. “Sadr is emerging as a dominant player in deciding how Iraq’s next government will be formed,” says The Washington Post.

On Friday and Saturday, Mr. al-Sadr instructed his group of supporters and, anyone else in the country for that matter, to select their candidate for the next prime minister. The Los Angeles Times had their own take on this latest bend from the March 7th elections: “The unofficial balloting held across the country Friday was less about who will rule the country than a demonstration of the staying power of Sadr’s populist movement.”

For his part, Mr. al-Sadr, who is living and studying in Iran, said in a statement read to his followers before Friday prayers that “according to political developments, a mistake might occur in choosing the next prime minister, and for that I think it is in the (national) interest to assign it directly to the people.”

This referendum has no legal authority and officials said the outcome would be made known a couple of days after voting ended on Saturday. Supporters “stood in long lines on Friday,” according to Reuters news agency and “whoever comes out on top is the person the group will back for prime minister,” according to the Associated Press.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2010 5:54 AM
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