Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will not resign in response to the demands of demonstrators and his new package of solutions will not ease the pressure on him to abandon the corrupt political forces that support him, politicians and officials told Arab News on Sunday. Angry demonstrations in Baghdad and seven southern Shiite-majority provinces have rocked Iraq for six days in protest against corruption, high unemployment and lack of basic daily services.
At least 104 people, including security personnel, have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded in recent days as Iraqi forces used live ammunition and tear gas to repel demonstrators who clashed with security forces as they tried to reach government and party headquarters in Baghdad and the provinces.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 52 government vehicles and about 60 government and party properties had been burned so far. The demonstrators demanded the dismissal of Abdul Mahdi’s government, forming a caretaker government, dissolving the Parliament and preparations for early national parliamentary elections under the supervision of the UN.
Abdul Mahdi responded by “turning a blind eye” to the use of “excessive force” against the demonstrators and used Iranian-backed armed factions to regain control of security in Baghdad and the provinces, according to witnesses.