MIDEAST >Police state prevents reform in Iraq, claims al-Hashemi


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Iraqi Vice President Hashemi speaks duringa news conference in Istanbul in this photo. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Iraqi Vice President Hashemi speaks duringa news conference in Istanbul in this photo. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Iraq needs a new change and reform process, but this is not possible due the an existence of a “police state,” Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has said.

Speaking at a conference in Istanbul on June 2, al-Hashemi said the failure in reforms in Iraq stemmed from people not governing themselves and that nothing had happened in the country after the reform process in 2003.

A second reform period has not been started, even though nine years have passed since the first period, al-Hashemi said. “From my point of view, there are two phases for a country’s transformation. The first one is to erase the dictatorial regime, and the second one is to make reforms. But Iraq now seems to be a police state,” al-Hashemi said, adding that there were sectarian and race discriminations in the country.

Warning from Shiite cleric

Meanwhile, a top Iraqi Shiite cleric has issued a ruling forbidding voting with secular individuals, an apparent statement of support for Iraq’s embattled premier, who is facing threats of a no-confidence vote “It is haram (forbidden by Islam) for any part of Iraq’s ruling (authorities) to vote on the side of a secular person,” Grand Ayatollah Kadhim al-Hairi said in a written answer to a question from one of his followers about voting with secularists amid the current political crises in Iraq. The secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc is seeking to convince Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to initiate a vote of no confidence in Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Significantly, al-Hairi, an Iraqi who is based in Iran’s holy city of Qom, is the main cleric followed by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of a powerful parliamentary bloc which has previously criticized al-Maliki as a “dictator” hungry for acclaim.

Barzani’s remarks

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani also said that there were still people in Baghdad with an “Anfal” mentality, referring to the al-Maliki government. Anfal was involved a series of attacks against the Kurds in the late 1980s by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime. Barzani was speaking at a ceremony in which the remains of 730 Kurdish people were returned to their homeland in Suleymaniyah last week.

Compiled from AA and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.


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