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.


COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

Updated 21 min 32 sec ago

COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

  • The total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths
  • Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of Health and Prevention announced a 30 percent rise in new COVID-19 cases among citizens on Thursday and warned of the dangers of gatherings that do not follow measures.

The minister called for those in the UAE to exercise caution and care in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The official spokesman for the UAE Government, Omar Al-Hammadi, said that the total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths, while the current number of patients receiving treatment has reached 5,752.

Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19, state news agency WAM reported.

The trials began in Abu Dhabi last month after China’s Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, developed an inactivated vaccine that successfully completed phase I and II of testing.

Phase I and Phase II trials, which were conducted in China, resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after two doses in 28 days.

Over 80 nationalities in the UAE have volunteered to participate in the trails, according to WAM.

“This milestone marks a significant achievement for the ongoing clinical trials and is testament to the global commitment to humanity of everyone who calls the UAE home,” Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Clinical Management Committee, Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, said.

"We reached the 5000 vaccinations faster than anticipated and believe that our trials of the inactivated vaccine are moving faster than comparable trials processes anywhere in the world,” he added.

Alkaabi said that the UAE aims to vaccinate 15,000 volunteers.

The thousands of volunteers who have been vaccinated come from a diverse background and are of all ages between 18 and 60.