Identity, Equality, Unity
The chorus for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq to step down grew louder on Friday, as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf had his representative in Karbala read a Friday prayers sermon in which he called for Parliament to meet and choose a prime minister who can lead a government of national unity. Shaikh Ahmad al-Safi said that the deadline for parliament to meet, 15 days after the certification of the elections, should be strictly adhered to.
The statement did not explicitly call for the unseating of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, but it hints pretty broadly that someone else who could actually hold together a government of national unity should be elected by parliament.
At the same time, Muhammad al-Sadr, the son of the founder of the Da`wa Party, called on al-Maliki to step aside.