Iraq’s top two parliament groups urge PM to resign

raqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during the first session of the new Iraqi parliament in Baghdad, Iraq September 3, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 08 September 2018

Iraq’s top two parliament groups urge PM to resign

  • Basra has been rocked by protests since Tuesday, with demonstrators setting ablaze government buildings, the Iranian consulate and the offices of pro-Tehran militias and political parties.
  • At least 12 demonstrators have been killed and 50 wounded in clashes with security forces, according to the interior ministry.

BAGHDAD: The two leading groups in Iraq's parliament on Saturday called on Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to resign, after lawmakers held an emergency meeting on unrest shaking the country's south.
"We demand the government apologise to the people and resign immediately," said Hassan Al-Aqouli, spokesman for the list of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr that won the most seats in a May election.
The announcement dealt a severe blow to Abadi's hopes of holding onto his post through a parliamentary bloc unveiled just days earlier with Sadr, a former militia chief.
Ahmed Al-Assadi, spokesman for the second-largest list, the Conquest Alliance, condemned "the government's failure to resolve the crisis in Basra", a southern city where 12 protesters were killed this week in clashes with security forces.
The Conquest Alliance was "on the same wavelength" as Sadr's Marching Towards Reform list and they would work together to form a new government, Assadi said.
Abadi defended his record in parliament, describing the unrest as "political sabotage" and saying the crisis over public services was being exploited for political ends.
Anger in Basra flared after the hospitalisation of 30,000 people who had drunk polluted water, in an oil-rich region where residents have for weeks complained of water and electricity shortages, corruption among officials and unemployment.
Demonstrators have set fire to government buildings, the Iranian consulate and the offices of pro-Tehran militias and political parties.


Construction in full swing for Expo 2020 Dubai

Updated 6 min 15 sec ago

Construction in full swing for Expo 2020 Dubai

  • Turnover of the Expo 2020-owned facilities is expected by the end of this year
  • 192 countries have confirmed participation at the upcoming world expo

DUBAI: The Expo 2020 on Tuesday gave a preview of the ongoing construction of the vast new site in the south of Dubai, one year ahead of its opening in October next year.

Journalists from different parts of the world were quickly toured at one of the main areas of the site – the Sustainability District – as well as the nine-story media center. A preview of the Al Wasl Dome, the central building at the site which will host the Expo’s major events, was also shown at the tour.

The other two areas such as the Mobility and Opportunity districts were only available for viewing from the rooftop of the media center. Massive cranes, construction materials and a number of laborers were seen at the site.

Turnover of the Expo 2020-owned facilities is expected by the end of this year, while individual country pavilions have their own deadlines to finish construction, organizers told Arab News.

Some countries have already either broken ground or started building their pavilions, including Saudi Arabi, the UAE and Japan. Others are expected to break ground in the coming months.

192 countries have confirmed participation at the upcoming world expo.

The tour was part of a three-day global media briefing, which started with a count-down concert on Sunday by American singer Mariah Carey at Burj Park.

The six-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimated 25 million visitors.