Abdel Abdul Mahdi
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BAGHDAD – Iran has stepped in to prevent the ouster of Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi by two of Iraq’s most influential figures amid weeks of anti-government demonstrations, sources close to both men told Reuters.
Populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demanded this week that Abdul Mahdi call an early election to quell the biggest mass protests in Iraq since the United States-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. The demonstrations are fuelled by anger at corruption and widespread economic hardship.
Sadr had urged his main political rival Hadi al-Amiri, whose alliance of Iran-backed militias is the second-biggest political force in parliament, to help push out Abdul Mahdi.
But in a secret meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday, Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, intervened, asking Amiri and his militia leaders to keep supporting Abdul Mahdi, five sources said. (Reuters)
The vote allows for public impeachment hearings in Congress which are expected in the coming weeks and portends a bitter battle ahead as the United States heads into a presidential election year.
Democrats who accuse Trump of abusing his office and jeopardising national security for personal political gain were almost unanimous in approving yesterday’s measure but they did not pick up a single Republican vote.
“It’s a sad day. No one comes to Congress to impeach a president,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote. (Reuters)