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Iraq's Sadr gives govt 'last chance' for reform

Radical anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says he is giving the Iraqi government a "last chance" to implement reforms, warning that calling for popular demonstrations would be called if his demands were not fulfilled

AFP , Monday 5 Sep 2011
Iraq
Archive photo of Moqtada al-Sadr (Photo:Reuters)
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Radical anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Monday he is giving the Iraqi government a "last chance" to implement reforms, or popular demonstrations would be called.

"This is the last chance before setting a date for open, peaceful, popular, demonstrations," Sadr said in a statement released by his office in the holy city of Najaf, without specifying how much time he was giving the government.

Sadr called on the government to give all Iraqis a share of the country's oil wealth, create jobs for 50,000 unemployed people nationwide, and provide free fuel for private generators, until Iraq's destitute electricity sector is improved.

"If these demands are achieved without delay... the open demonstration will be postponed indefinitely," Sadr said.

The cleric in February gave the government six months to improve services, threatening to call protests otherwise.

Sadr's bloc holds six cabinet posts and has 40 seats in parliament.

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