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Religious disputes escalate over upcoming Iraqi elections

Religious leaders in Iraq are calling on voters to exercise caution in the upcoming elections and avoid casting votes for corrupt politicians.
A worker cleans the street next to a campaign poster of candidates ahead of the parliamentary election, in Najaf, Iraq, April 14, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani - RC155ACA6900
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As the May 12 parliamentary elections draw closer, religious figures and institutions in Iraq are exchanging views over participation in the elections; some call for boycotting the elections, some recommend voting for new candidates and others promote certain political parties in one way or another.

During the April 13 Friday sermon, the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Ahmed al-Safi, reiterated how the Shiite religious establishment in Najaf insists that politicians who have previously failed to live up to executive or legislative responsibility not be elected.

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