Sheikh Abdul-Mahdi Al-Karbalaei 

Dear Brothers and Sisters I call your attention to the contents of the second sermon:

In the name of Allah the Merciful

Everyone knows where the situation of the country has reached and what these days are suffering from a variety of problems and intertwined crises. The religious authority has been considering for some time what can end up happening in the absence of real and serious steps towards reform, combating corruption and achieving social justice. It has over the past years, as dictated by its moral position, sought to advise officials and citizens to avoid reaching the current tragic situation. The religious authority has repeatedly advised senior government officials and leaders of the political forces to realize the great responsibility placed on them and to reject the artificial differences which lie behind them personal and factional interests, to agree on the management of the country in order to achieve well-being and progress for their people and to be just in the granting of salaries and benefits and allocations, and to work for reform and refrain from protecting the corrupt parties and their companions, and warned them in the Friday sermon three years ago that those who oppose reform and expect the demands to stop them should know that reform is an absolute necessity and if the calls for change quietened for a period of time it will come back at a much stronger time and much more when it will beregrettable. It also advised citizens every time the date of parliamentary elections neared that the reform and change for the better, which is the demand of all and the urgent need of the country, will only be achieved by your hands and if you do not work for it prodigiously it will not occur, and the best mechanism for it is the conscious participation in the elections based on the good choice, that of electing the competent who are keen on the higher interest of the Iraqi people and areprepared for the sacrifice in order to serve the pople. To this end, the religious authority demanded that the electoral law be fair, that protects the inviolability of the votes of the electorate and does not allow them to be circumvented. That the Electoral Commission shall be independent as determined by the constitution and not subject to partisan quotas. That the failure to provide these conditions will lead to the despair of most citizens of the electoral process and their reluctance to participate in it, but as everyone knows, things have not been as desired by the religious authority and sought by it, and so continued the suffering of most citizens, and increased because of lack of services and the spread of unemployment and the decline of the agricultural and industrial sectors in an unprecedented manner, as a natural result of the spread of financial and administrative corruption in the various facilities and institutions of the state and the lack of professionalism in the management of the state.

Today, after all the attacks of the past few weeks, which have been condemned and rejected, on peaceful demonstrators, security forces and public and private property, and unfortunately dragged out into bloody clashes that left many victims and wounded, it is necessary to work on two tracks.

First: for the current government to find what can be achieved urgently from the demands of citizens and thus reduce their suffering.

Second: The next government should be formed as soon as possible on the right bases of efficient and fair competencies. The Prime Minister shall bear full responsibility for the performance of his government and be firm and strong and courageous in combating the financial and administrative corruption which is the basis of most of the country’s bad conditions, and considers this his first duty and primary task,and wage a relentless war against the corrupt and their protectors, and his government undertakes to work in accordance with a program prepared on educated bases, including taking effective and studied steps, including:

1 – Adopting proposals for draft laws to be submitted to the Council of Representatives, including the cancellation or amendment of existing laws granting rights and privileges to certain categories that are incompatible with the promotion of equality and justice among the people.

2 – Submit draft laws to the Council of Representatives in order to fill the legal gaps that are exploited by the corrupt to achieve their purposes and give the Integrity Commission and other regulatory authorities wider choices in the fight against corruption and to stand against the corrupt.

3 – The application of strict controls in the evaluation of ministers and other government appointments, especially for senior positions and special grades so as to prevent non-specialists and those accused of corruption and those who discriminate between citizens according to their sectarian or political affiliations and those who exploit government postsfor themselves or their relatives or parties and so on.

4 – Directing the Board of Supreme Audit to complete the audit of the final accounts of the general budgets in previous years and all the financial contracts and allocations for the previous years at the level of each ministry and governorate and the need to announce the results of the audit with high transparency to expose the manipulators of public funds and those entrusted with them in preparation for holding to account the responsible individuals and bringing the corrupt to justice. The next Council of Representatives should take seriously all the reform steps and approve the necessary laws for that; and if the government fails in its promises or disruptsthe work of the Council of Representatives or the Judiciarythere will not remain in front of the people any choice but to develop on the peaceful methods of protest to impose theirwill on officials, supported by all the forces of good in the country and then we will have a different scene from today.But we hope that there is no need for that and that sense and logic and the interest of the country prevails in those in positions of responsibility and decision makers, to come to terms with the matter before it is too late, and God guides to what is right.