Differences between demonstrators in Baghdad and the provinces
Protesters in Tahrir Square, Baghdad yesterday (AP)
Baghdad: Fadel Al-Nashmi
Regardless of the deadline for the constitutional deadline that the President of the Republic, Barham Salih, is supposed to present his new candidate for prime minister to parliament to gain his confidence, the Iraqi movement groups continue to press hard through demonstrations, sit-ins, and continuous strikes to compel the government and its political forces to implement the popular demands, led by the choice of a matching prime minister The specifications and conditions laid down exclusively by the movement groups, and not those that correspond to the interests and agenda of the political forces.
Activists have been deliberating for weeks a set of conditions that must be met in the new prime minister, including that he be independent and not affiliated with any political party and age not exceeding 55 years, and he has never held high positions in the state, along with his integrity and patriotism and his ability to hold corrupt and those involved in the blood of demonstrators .
The demonstrations continued yesterday, in Baghdad and most of the Iraqi provinces, and thousands of university students joined the demonstration in Tahrir Square. Activists’ opinions were relatively mixed on whether the demonstrations should remain and if the sit-ins will be resolved, after choosing a new prime minister. While activists in Baghdad point to the possibility of ending the demonstrations and sit-in in the event of the rise of a candidate acceptable to the demonstrators, activists in other governorates confirm their continuation, until all the demands are fulfilled, including the approval of a new election law and the dissolution of Parliament.
In this direction, the civil activist, Muhammad Model, expects that “the demonstrations and sit-ins will stop in the event that a satisfactory Prime Minister emerges from him from the demonstrators and conforms to their conditions. Otherwise, things will take other paths.” And Model says in an interview with “Asharq Al-Awsat”: “The decision of quite a few demonstrators so far is to support the Prime Minister, who is satisfactory to him. The matter may reach the sit-in in front of his palace in the Green Zone to support him in completing his tasks of holding the killers and enacting a new election law and forming Independent commission.
As for the journalist and activist Maitham Al-Shabani in Al-Diwaniyah Governorate, he points out that there are “extremist protest trends in the province that do not count much on the election of a new prime minister and want to end the entire political system and insist on continuing the protests until this goal is achieved.” Al-Shabani told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: “Today, mass demonstrations have taken place, and university students have stood up against calls by some clerics and parties to demand a halt to the strike, and demonstrators have closed most government departments in the province.” He emphasized, “The students of the College of Medicine opened exhibitions to sell local products against Iranian products, and they decided to allocate sales profits to support the demonstrators and sit-in protesters.”
Hundreds of students went out in Babel yesterday, demonstrations in the city center, and hundreds of students from Karbala University organized demonstrations that cut the road to the education field in the central province, in support of the protests taking place in the country. Protesters cut off some roads in the city.
In the city of Nasiriyah, the center of the southern province of Dhi Qar, which is relatively calm these days, despite the paralysis that affects most aspects of life in the city, thousands of demonstrators continued yesterday, arriving in Al-Haboubi Square in the city center. Some demonstrators cut the intersection of the lobby, the victory bridge, civilizations and the alternative in the center of Nasiriyah with burning tires, and later opened them. Civil activist Haider Nashi confirmed that the demonstrations in Nasiriyah continued despite the noticeable drop in temperatures.
On the issue of choosing a new prime minister and the position of the demonstrators against him, Nashi ruled in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that it stopped “even with a new prime minister, the matter is not related to him alone, even if he was chosen based on the conditions of the demonstrators.” He added, “We have great challenges ahead of the prime minister. The demonstrators intend to remain in the arenas to support him and facilitate his mission. We must continue to pressure parliament to complete legislation with urgent laws such as the election law and the issue of choosing the right people for the election commission. ”
Nashi asserts that “the demonstrators, and by continuing to demonstrate, will help the new prime minister, even in choosing his independent ministerial cabinet away from the power of the parties, because it will not stop putting all obstacles to his success in his mission.” Nashi expected that “the demonstrators by the authority and its militias will face more difficulties in the coming weeks, and security authorities within the governorate have informed us of the arrival of assassination teams to the city 3 days ago to liquidate the activists in the demonstrations, these gangs will not surrender easily and we must face all of this.”