The move comes as Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters pressure the country’s parliament to dissolve amid a political deadlock
Highly influential Iraqi politician Muqtada al-Sadr has announced a complete retirement from politics amid a constitutional crisis engulfing the nation’s parliament.
Al-Sadr was an Al-Sadr Shia cleric, who’s political party won the most seats at last year’s parliamentary election but couldn’t form a new cabinet. “final withdrawal”A statement was published by him on Twitter.
He accused his opponents of failing to listen to his calls for reform and said he would shut down his movement’s offices in response to the ongoing parliamentary deadlock.
The news invigorated al-Sadr’s supporters to renew their street protests in Baghdad. The same people were behind last month’s breach of the parliament building aimed at preventing a rival political alliance, the Coordination Framework, from forming a government.
Although the Sadrist Movement, led by the 48 year-old politician, won 73 seats last year in the 329 seat Iraqi legislative, its efforts to form a majority coalition fell short, leading to constitutional crisis. Al-Sadr demanded the dissolution of the entire body and his MPs quit their posts in June.
This week, Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court is scheduled to meet to rule whether the parliament should be disbanded.
This cleric has been a vocal critic of any foreign influence in Iraqi politics. There are rumored to be Iranian-linked forces in the Coordination Framework.
Iran-backed militias were crucial in Iraq’s effort to defeat the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), which overtook large swathes of the country, including its second-largest city, Mosul, in 2014. Al-Sadr, who has been advocating for the reduction of the power of Shia militias within Iraq since the beginning, said that the new government should exclude them.
Al-Sadr’s withdrawal from Iraqi politics isn’t the first. He has done it on numerous occasions in the past, before reconsidering.
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