Iraq Protesters Want to Overthrow Entire Political Class, Not Just PM

Crowds celebrate Abdul-Mahdi's ouster, but vow to continue

The resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi is being celebrated by crowds of protesters in Iraq, but they are also very clear this is only the beginning of their demands. Protests will continue, with an eye toward overthrowing the entire political class.

That’s been a position among protesters from the start, with the sense that the corruption and foreign influence in their political leaders is not just a problem with current leaders, but endemic among the career politicians of current Iraq. They want big reforms, system-wide changes, and a more independent Iraq.

And Abdul-Mahdi’s ouster is a step in the right direction, as he had met the protests with empty promises of reform and exhorting the military to end the protests violently. With no PM at all, it’s not clear what comes next, and reforms are no guarantee.

But without Abdul-Mahdi trying to hang on to power through force, the protesters likely have more breathing room, and as they continue to take to the streets, they will serve as a reminder for whoever might come next that the people want change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.