Press Shia Agency – Iraq’s top Shi’ah cleric, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, has warned that “foreign influence” in the upcoming national elections could undermine the country’s ability to carry out a free and fair vote.
Press Shia – Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani’s message, delivered by his representative Hujjat al-Islam Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbala’i during Friday prayers in Karbala, emphasizes that Iraq’s Shi’ah religious leadership does not support any one candidate or party.
Ayatollah al-Sistani is also calling on all Iraqis to vote in the elections, scheduled for May 12, but says votes should not be award to Iraqi officials currently in office who have proven to be ineffective or corrupt.
Ayatollah al-Sistani is one of the most respected voices in Iraq and after a fatwa he issued in 2014 that mobilized thousands to fight the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, he launched a campaign against government corruption.
Some 21 million Iraqis have registered to vote in next week’s elections, and will be electing 320 candidates out of a pool of around 7,000 candidates.