Pro-Sadr protesters occupy parliament 'until further notice'

Pro-Sadr protesters occupy parliament ‘until further notice’

In Iraq, the political deadlock continues and tensions are rising. For the second time this week, supporters of the influential Shiite political leader Moqtada Sadr stormed the Iraqi Parliament on Saturday July 30, after entering the ultra-secure green zone in Baghdad, where government institutions and embassies. Supporters informed “a sit-in (to last) until further notice”according to a brief communiqué from the Sadrist movement. A photographer from Agence France-Presse (AFP) who was with the demonstrators entered the Parliament with them.

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against corruption, in Baghdad, Iraq, July 30, 2022.

Iraqi security forces initially tried to push back the demonstrators, using tear gas. If there is no success: as on Wednesday, already, the partisans of Moqtada Sadr finally entered the enclosure of the Parliament to reject the candidate with the post of Prime Minister presented by the opponents of Mr. Sadr.

Political deadlock is the generality of Iraq, which is still waiting for the appointment of a new president and a prime minister, ten months after the October 2021 legislative elections. Kingmaker and troublemaker of the political scene, the Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr launched a maximum pressure campaign. against his opponents.

“All the people are with you, Sayyed Moqtada! », chanted the protesters, using his title as a descendant of the Islamic prophet. Demonstrators criticized the candidacy for the post of prime minister of Mohammed Chia Al-Soudani, who is considered close to the former head of government Nouri Al-Maliki, a historical enemy of Mr. Sadr. “We are here for the reform revolution (…) to make the people victorious and Sayyed Moqtada Sadr the leader”launched Haydar Al-Lami, a demonstrator.

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From the political seraglio, Mr. Soudani is the candidate of the Coordination Framework, an alliance of pro-Iran Shiite factions that unites the party of former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and representatives of Hachd Al-Chaabi, former paramilitaries combined with regular forces.

Supporters of Moqtada Sadr rejoice after entering the Iraqi parliament in the high-security Green Zone in the capital Baghdad as they protest against the nomination of the rival bloc for prime minister, July 30, 2022.

If he decides now to keep up the pressure on his opponents, Mr. Sadr however left them the task of forming a government, causing his 73 deputies to resign in June: they represent the first force within the Parliament of 329 representatives. .

“We would like them to wait for the formation of the government to assess its performance, give it a chance if it is good, or challenge it if it is not.”the Shiite politician Ammar Al-Hakim, an ally of the Coordination Framework, was recently saddened in an interview with the Arabic antenna of the BBC.

“The Sadrist current has a problem with the idea that it is the Coordination Framework that will build a government. If not Mr. Soudani, if the second or third candidate is nominated, we can also expect opposition”he estimated.

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr rest during a protest against corruption, inside the parliament in Baghdad, Iraq, July 30, 2022.

“Continued political escalation increases tension in the streets”, regretted in a press release the current Prime Minister, Moustafa al-Kazimi. In total, at least 100 demonstrators and 25 members of the security forces were injured on Saturday on the sidelines of the demonstrations, according to the Ministry of Health.

“We are here for a reform revolution (…) to make the people victorious and Sayyed Moqtada Sadr is the leader”launched a demonstrator Haydar al-Lami in central Baghdad on Saturday. “We don’t want the corrupt, and we don’t want to try what we’ve already seen” in power, he said, interviewed by AFP. “They didn’t bring us anything, from 2003 until now they are the same, they harmed us”.

During the night from Friday to Saturday, Sadr’s supporters broke into the offices of Mr. Maliki’s Al-Daawa (“The Call”) party in Baghdad, as well as the premises of the Shiite party Al-Hikma , the political formation Ammar Al-Hakim , who is part of the Coordination Framework, according to the security source.

Also read Article reserved for our subscribers In Iraq, a fragmented political landscape and widespread abstention in legislative elections

The World with AFP

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