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Iraq: Muqtada al-Sadr warns judiciary to dissolve parliament

jorono / Pixabay

Iraq’s government is at a deadlock even after the elections that took place in October last year. Prominent Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr warned the judiciary to dissolve the Iraqi parliament, threatening serious consequences if it is not done.

The populist Sadr told the judiciary Wednesday to dissolve parliament by the end of next week. Sadr warned that there would be serious consequences otherwise, but did not specify what those were.

This comes as Sadr has played a part in the tensions within Iraq in the last two weeks, telling his supporters to storm and occupy the Iraqi parliament to prevent the formation of a new government.

Sadr’s political rivals, Shi’ite leaders that are backed by Iran, have further raised political tensions by refusing to comply with Sadr’s demands.

The judiciary “must dissolve parliament by the end of next week…if not, the revolutionaries will take another stance,” tweeted Sadr.

Sadr has called for early elections and making changes to the constitution after he and his lawmakers resigned in June.

The withdrawal was in protest against the failure to form a government even as Sadr and his lawmakers gained enough seats to make up more than half the chamber. Sadr blamed pro-Iran parties for the failure to form a new government, accusing them of corruption.

However, followers of Sadr also control some of the worst-managed departments in the Iraqi government.

The previous weekend, Sadr called on his supporters to gather in mass prayer in the capital Baghdad in another symbolic move that highlighted the strength of Sadr and his faction’s supporters.

The mass prayer took place within the Green Zone of Baghdad, the area where government buildings, foreign embassies, and parliament are located.

The mass prayer followed Sadr’s previous demand to hold early elections, which the pro-Iran Coordination Framework said it was open to even as the national polls took place 10 months ago.

Sadr and his supporters made a similar prayer call and pressure back in July, with thousands of worshippers travelling to Sadr City in Baghdad, named after the cleric’s assassinated father.

“The preacher confirmed that these protesters will continue their sit-in until their demands are met. They want to remove all corrupt politicians,” said Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed.

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