Protesters begin sit-in outside Iraq's highest court

Protesters begin sit-in outside Iraq’s highest court

Supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr are calling for the dissolution of Parliament and early legislative elections.

And now… the judiciary: A few hundred supporters of Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr began a sit-in on Tuesday outside the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad to increase pressure on their opponents, in the midst of a showdown over the x27;future of Iraq.

Iraq, rich in hydrocarbons, but overwhelmed by a serious economic and social crisis, has been in a total stalemate since the legislative elections from October 2021.

Since the end of July, the tension has risen a notch between the two blocs of political Shiism: the Moqtada Sadr Current, which is calling for the dissolution of Parliament and early legislative elections, and its opponents from the Coordination Framework, an alliance bringing together Shiite factions. pro-Iran, in a hurry to form a government.

The two blocs chained verbal battles and one-upmanship, without however letting the situation turn violent.

Trublion of political life, Mr. Sadr has demonstrated his ability to mobilize. For more than three weeks his supporters have camped around the Parliament, in the Green Zone.

Pro-Sadr protesters pray outside the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad, August 23, 2022.

In response, the Coordination Framework set up its own sit-in on the outskirts of this ultra-secure district which houses government institutions and embassies.

On Tuesday, the Sadrists outbid by settling before the Supreme Judicial Council, blocking entry to Iraq's highest judicial body, where the Federal Supreme Court sits.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi decided to cut short a visit to Egypt, where he was due to attend a summit with four other Arab leaders, and return to Baghdad to monitor the situation. He called for calm and dialogue, according to a press release from his services.

The sit-in in front of the Supreme Council is quite a symbol: in early August, Moqtada Sadr had summoned Iraqi justice to dissolve Parliament. In vain. The judges had declared themselves incompetent.

The judicial body announced the suspension of its work.

The demonstrators set up tents in front of the gates of the building outside the Green Zone, according to an AFP journalist who also noticed the deployment of law enforcement.

< p class="e-p">Supporters of the Shia cleric held up posters calling for the dissolution of the National Assembly and a fight against corruption.

We want the eradication of corruption, a Abou Karar Al-Alyaoui told AFP. The judiciary is under threat or else it is corrupt.

At midday, food was delivered to the protesters, a sign that they matter set up their camp over time.

Pro-Sadr protesters rest in a tent during the sit-in, in Baghdad, August 23, 2022 .

Accusing each other of pushing Iraq to the edge of the abyss, Sadrists and supporters of the Coordination Framework clash over the modalities of appointing the prime minister and the government.< /p>

The crisis began when the Sadrist Current rejected the candidate of the Coordination Framework for the post of Prime Minister at the end of July. Because 10 months after the legislative elections, Iraq has still not replaced its head of government or its president.

The Coordination Framework said it was open to a dissolution voted by the deputies, Moqtada Sadr, intransigent, demands that justice dissolve Parliament… hence the sit-in in front of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary .

The Prime Minister convened a national dialogue last week to try to get Iraq out of the rut, a meeting boycotted by representatives of the Sadrist Current.

But Moqtada Sadr, to whom hundreds of thousands of Iraqis obey the finger in the eye, also calls for a change in the Constitution which would allow the winner of the ballot to have the right to form the government at his will. way – which is not the case today.

A supporter of the Shia leader Moqtada Sadr holds his portrait in front of the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad on August 23, 2022.

His Courant came first in the October 2021 legislative elections with 73 seats (out of 329). But, unable to form a majority in the hemicycle, Moqtada Sadr had his deputies resign in June.

Taxing his opponents corrupt, enjoying an aura of cleric, Moqtada Sadr is a regular at punching actions.

Although he has relays in most Iraqi ministries and administrations, his supporters see him as a revolutionary always quick to fight against the corrupt elite system.

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