President Salih: Our national project must be established within the country on building a strong and capable state that could protect and serve its citizens, and having an effect on the free expression of the will of the voters is violation of the s


Iraqi President Salih emphasized that serious demands represented by laying the ground for new political contract are still ahead of our country to be met. He noted that Iraq's project must be a national project that will be built by the Iraqi politicians within the country through having a capable and strong state that could serve its citizens and use the country's resources to serve its people and to be a peaceful state that gives priority to the peace in dealing with its people and to hold a dialogue with its neighbors. Electoral fraud and manipulation is a gross violation of the state's sovereignty, and it is vital to secure polling centers and protect ballots in order to guarantee state's sovereignty. The supreme religious authorities in Najaf have come out with a very powerful statement, calling on all the Iraqi to defend the country, and it was a national project that aims to protect Iraq so we have to talk about it.
While delivering a speech on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at the Bahr al-Ullom Forum for Dialogue, President Salih said that enormous tasks in economic developments and preparing the ground for new political contract and for the new situations in the region are ahead of our country. Iraq continues to suffer from the political gridlock that needs to be resolved out of the ordinary. He spoke about the need to take the advantage from the academic and university elites and from research centers in this regard.
The supreme religious authorities in Najaf played historical and important roles in the Iraqi events and in the major transformations in the country. It was always supporting the national decision and Iraq's sovereignty since the Iraqi revolt against British and until the present day. He noted that the issue of the religious Fatwa came at a fateful moment and it was responded to by the Iraqi young and elderly people. The Fataw was for all the Iraqi regardless of their religious faiths and sects, and it was truly a national project that saved the Iraqi citizens lives at this dangerous moment. Therefore, the statement should be deliberated and studied by the researchers and the think tanks, he added. At this crucial moment the importance of the historical and leading role that played by the supreme religious authorities is reflected its role as a safety valve for all the Iraqi as well as in maintaining Iraq's sovereignty and supporting its national decision, said the President, while historically, oppressed persons are always protected, and Christians, Kurds and Yazidis are defended by the supreme religious authorities.
Furthermore, he emphasized that establishing a secure and sovereign state would be achieved when there was an internal decision and a political will within the country system, while noting that what have been achieved after 2003 no small measure on the work of the political parties, but truth should be said there are political imbalances in the political system. Therefore, Iraqi people's demands for good governance and for building a capable and sovereign state can't be met. He noted that there is a concept that is now beginning to emerge in Basra to Najaf, Amara, Anbar, Mosul, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil believes in the need to establish a strong and capable state that could protect its citizens.
President Salih stated that the country's next elections will be held as the results of the popular protests demanding for creating new political contract that can best serve the Iraqi, and where the people are fed up with the current political situation, and there is a doubt over the impartiality and the credibility of the previous elections process. He stressed that having an effect on the free expression of the will of the voters is the grave violation of the state's sovereignty, and the sovereignty begins with ensuring respect for the rights to vote and combating electoral fraud. Restoring the legitimacy of the state is based on having free and fair elections and there should be no fraud or electoral manipulation, he added.
Moreover, he said that there is a doubt over the impartiality and the credibility of the elections process that is based on what happened at the previous election is not easy. Therefore, United Nations' efforts in monitoring and the oversight the country's next federal elections are required.
On other hand, he said that according to experts Iraq oil imports since 2003 until the present day is estimated to have been around $ 1000 billion. $ 150 billion are suspected of being corrupted, and taken out of the country. Financial corruption is considered as the political economy of the violence and of chaos, and it undermines the state ability and breaches its sovereignty.
If the situation in Iraq remains the same without being changed, and the corruption is not addressed, and the funds stolen is not recovered as it’s an essential pillar of the state, we will not achieve our aspirations for having good governance, said President Salih.
Regarding the regional situations, historically, Mesopotamia was a point of balancing and disputes in the region, he said, while today, stability can't be achieved in the region without having a strong, capable and sovereign Iraqi state. Any interference in Iraq's internal affairs by another state will lay the ground for another interference so the spiral of the crisis in the country will continue, and everyone has to pay for it, he added.
Iraqi populations would reach 80 million by 2050, His Excellency Salih noted, while studies indicated that the oil revenue will decline as the results of dropping in demand for oil after increased use of alternative and renewable energy.
He said that Iraq's oil reserves will not provide a better future for the Iraqi generation to come, and we had a similar situation in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and in all our neighbors. These should therefore be addressed through working together to confront the challenges that we face on the basis of a national, sovereign Iraqi state.