The office of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani issued a statement today (Sunday) announcing that his eminence had received the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, before noon today and during the meeting he referred to his positions on a number of important issues.
First, the parliamentary elections which is scheduled to be held next year is of great importance, and the necessary conditions must be provided for it to give a high degree of credibility to the results, in order to encourage the citizens to participate widely in it, and for this purpose, it should be done in accordance with a fair and just law and away from the personal interests of some factions and political parties, as the process of transparency must be observed in its various stages and its monitoring must be seriously and in coordination with the relevant department in the UN Board.
Early elections is not a goal in itself, but is the right peaceful way out of the current stalemate that the country is facing as a result of the accumulation of political, economic, security, health, service and other crises, so it is essential that citizens take this opportunity to reconsider their political choices and to elect their future representatives in the House of Representatives freely and away from any pressure, so that they have the authority to work in order to solve problems and crises.
Further delays in holding or conducting elections without providing the necessary conditions for its success in a way that the results are not convincing for most citizens will deepen the country’s problems and, God forbid, will lead to a situation that threatens the unity and future of its people and will regret all the relevant parties that are in power in the current situation.
Second, the current government is called upon to continue and vigorously and decisively advance the measures it has taken to implement social justice, including taking control of border crossings, improving the performance of the security forces in order to increase their discipline and professionalism, and exercising authority of the government, collecting illegal weapons, and not allowing the division of the country’s regions into areas under the control of specific groups by arms forces and under various titles and far from enforcing applicable laws.
The government is also invited to take serious and exceptional steps to fight corruption and open other major cases in this field based on legal measures and away from any choice, so that any corruptor is punished fairly and the rights of the nation should be taken away from him, in any situation he is and with any support.
The government is also urged to take all necessary steps to identify all those who, since the beginning of the popular movement last year, have committed criminal acts, including killings, assaults, etc., against demonstrators, security forces and innocent civilians and looted public and private properties, especially the kidnapping factions behind the recent assassinations.
The administration of justice for all those who committed these crimes is a necessary demand that must one day be met, and this is the useful way to prevent the recurrence of such crimes and to prevent them from returning to the like.
Third, preserving national sovereignty, preventing its violation and standing up to foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs and removing the dangers of disintegration are public responsibilities and these call for a unified national position on a variety of issues that harm the great interests of Iraqis now and in the future. This is not possible to achieve in the shadow of differences and following personal or partisan or regional interests, so different parties are required to increase the level of national responsibility and not to fall short of the country’s sovereignty, stability and independence of its political decision under any pretext.
24 Muharram / 1442 AH
The office of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani – Najaf Ashraf