In Iraq, influential leader Moqtada Sadr calls for broader protest

In Iraq, the influential leader Moqtada Sadr calls for a broader protest

Ten months after the legislative elections in Iraq, the political crisis persists and gives rise to several demonstrations.

Influential Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr on Sunday called for broader protest in Iraq and support for protesters occupying parliament, offering no signs of de-escalation in a country embroiled in crisis.

< p class="e-p">On Saturday, for the second time in less than a week, thousands of supporters of Moqtada Sadr invaded the seat of parliament in Baghdad's ultra-secure Green Zone to protest against a presidential candidate. post of prime minister proposed by their adversaries.

On the second day of the sit-in, the demonstrators seem determined to stay in parliament, having brought mattresses and blankets there. Volunteers distributed hot meals and swept the heaps of rubbish from the gardens to load them into vans.

Sunday, Moqtada Sadr, the troublemaker of Iraqi politics, called on Twitter to continue the mobilization.

He hailed a spontaneous and peaceful revolution that liberated the Green Zone, a first step, seeing it as an extraordinary opportunity for a fundamental change in the political system.

He called on everyone , including our tribes, our security forces, and members of Hachd al-Chaabi (former pro-Iran paramilitaries integrated into the regular forces) to support the revolutionaries.

The first force in parliament to emerge from the legislative elections, the Courant de M.Sadr finally made its 73 deputies resign in June after having been unable to muster the majority necessary to appoint a prime minister.

The alliance that nominated the candidate for prime minister rejected by Mr. Sadr meanwhile lamented a continued escalation, indirectly accusing Mr. Sadr of calling for a coup against the state institutions after his tweet.

His adversaries of the Coordination Framework, an alliance of pro-Iran Shiite factions grouping Hashd al-Shaabi, reacted in a press release by reiterating the call for dialogue with all political forces, in particular the Sadrist Current.

The coordination framework also encompasses the training of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a historical enemy of Mr. Sadr.

At the parliament building, loudspeakers played Sunday traditional religious songs on the occasion of Muharram, the lunar month which has just begun and during which the Shiites will mark Ashura, the commemoration of the martyrdom of #x27;Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and central figure of Shiism.

Demanding a Sadrist government, Dhorgham Abdallah, a 30-year-old day laborer drove five hours from Amarah to join the sit-in. He also wants a dissolution of parliament.

I am participating in the sit-in to uproot the corrupt, he said.

What does it matter if officials loyal to Moqtada Sadr also occupy the highest echelons in the ministries, his supporters see him as a figure of opposition and a hero in the fight against corruption.

On Sunday, the demonstrators received instructions from the Sadrist Current: they can install caravans and are called upon to keep the places clean and to take turns to guarantee the continuity of the sit-in. Women are forbidden to spend the night there.

Initially, the Sadrist Current had the ambition of appointing the Prime Minister and forming a majority government, in particular with its Kurdish and Sunni allies.

Mr. Sadr's Courant finally forced its 73 MPs to resign in June after failing to muster the majority needed to appoint a prime minister.

And since the legislative elections of October 2021, Iraq has experienced total political paralysis. Months of endless negotiations between the major parties have still not made it possible to elect a new President of the Republic or a new head of government.

The The alliance had proposed handing over the reins of the new government to Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, a 52-year-old former minister. x27;hui pressure on his adversaries when he had left the task of forming a government to them after the resignation of his deputies.

Now the message that Sadr is sending to those involved in forming government is that it has power from the streets, summed up Renad Mansour, of the Chatham House think tank.

He hopes to use that power to thwart his opponents' attempts to form a government.

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