Iraqis protest against nomination of Zebari as candidate for presidency

A combined picture of Iraqis protesting in Baghdad against the nomination of Hoshiar Zebari as a candidate for the presidency, January 31, 2022. (Bzhar Dabagh/Esta Media Network)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqis on Monday continued to protest in Baghdad against the nomination of Hoshiar Zebari as a candidate for the presidency, as the parliament is set to announce nominees for the post.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the federal court in the Iraqi capital on Monday to protest against the nomination of Zebari, a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) candidate for the position of Iraqi president.

In 2016, Iraqi parliament sacked Zebari from his post as finance minister over alleged corruptions and misuse of public funds. Zebari denied the accusations.

Zebari, who also served as Iraq’s foreign minister for more than a decade, lost a no-confidence vote by 158 to 77.

“The place of corrupt people are prisons, not the Republican Palace,” a protester told Esta Media Network.

“We call on the federal court to do its legal duty,” the protester said.

The supreme judicial council will meet on Monday to decide on the names nominated for the Iraqi presidency. The parliament will later announce nominees.

As many as 40 individuals have been nominated for the position, including independent nominees.

“We don’t want Hoshiar Zebari, he is corrupt,” another protester said. “We need a person who protect us,” she added.

“He is corrupt and is not fit to rule Iraq. Zebari doesn’t deserve the post,” a woman told Esta Media Network during the protests.

Another protester said Zebari who is a “corrupt person” had “done nothing” for the nation when he was the minister of finance.

“Our people are tired … The nomination of Zebari is an insult for the Iraqi people,” he noted.

The Council of Representatives, which re-elected Mohammed al-Halbousi as its speaker, has set February 7 as a date to hold a session to elect a new president for the country.

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