Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for dissolution of parliament and early elections



Iraq’s prominent Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, called for the dissolution of parliament and early elections, urging his followers to continue an open sit-in in the parliament building until their demands are met.

“The majority of Iraqis are tired of the ruling class, including some of the faces of the sadistic movement,” al-Sadr said in a televised speech.

“The revolution (comprehensive reform protests) was started by the Sadrists, and it will not exclude the corrupt from the Sadrist movement,” al-Sadr was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

“I am not asking for power, but I am seeking reform,” the Shiite cleric concluded.

On Saturday, thousands of al-Sadr’s supporters began a sit-in in parliament to reject the appointment of Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani as prime minister on July 25 by al-Sadr’s opponents in the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties.

The CF became the largest alliance in the Iraqi parliament after al-Sadr ordered his followers in the Sadrist movement, the biggest winner of the October 10, 2021 election, which secured 73 seats, to withdraw from parliament.

In recent months, continued infighting between Shiite parties has hampered the formation of a new Iraqi government, preventing it from electing a new president with a two-thirds majority in the 329-member parliament under the constitution.

If elected, the president will appoint a prime minister nominated by the largest alliance in parliament, now the CF, to form a new government to rule the country for the next four years.

–IANS

int/shs

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from the aggregated source.)

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