Skip to main content

Feeling heat, Maliki warns Sistani against opposing third term

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani hinted at Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s intention to seek a third term, saying that Iraqi officials should not cling to their positions in power.
Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Al-Karbala'i speaks as he delivers the text of a sermon by Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during Friday prayers at the Imam Hussein shrine in the holy city of Kerbala August 8, 2014. Sistani called again on compatriots on Friday to unite against the "big danger" posed by Islamic State militants, whose advances prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to authorise limited bombing. In a weekly Friday sermon delivered through the spokesman in the sacred Shi'ite city of
Read in 

On July 25, the official website of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani posted an article reporting that Sistani has called on Iraqi officials not to cling to their positions, alluding to the insistence of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on seeking a third term. Official spokespeople for Sistani have previously criticized the performance of the Iraqi government, as well as the stances of Maliki himself; this, however, is the first time that Sistani has directly demanded Maliki withdraw his candidacy.

The article came in response to the stance of Sayyid Mahmoud Shahroudi — a prominent religious figure known for his close ties with Iran’s leadership and the Maliki-led Dawa Party — in support of Maliki. The website also noted the support of other Shiite religious authorities in Qom and Najaf for Sistani's position.​ 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.