Iraqi Shiite leader al-Sadr calls for new elections

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    Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who once led an influential resistance movement against US occupation forces in Iraq, has now called on his political movement to fight for reform and fight corruption.

    Prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called for the dissolution of Iraq’s parliament and early elections, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The cleric called on his supporters to continue their open sit-in outside Parliament until their demands are met. In a televised speech, al-Sadr said:

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    “Most of the Iraqi people are tired of the ruling class, including some faces of the Sadrist movement. The revolution (protest for sweeping reforms) was started by the Sadrists and it will not exclude the corrupt from the Sadrist movement (in their protest ).”

    The priest concluded by saying:

    “I’m not asking for power, I’m asking for reforms.”

    On Saturday, thousands of al-Sadr’s supporters began an open sit-in in parliament to say they support the July 25 appointment of Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani as the country’s prime minister by al-Sadr’s opponents in the so-called Coordination Framework, an umbrella organization of Shia groups parliamentary parties, declined.

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    The coordination framework became the largest alliance in Iraq’s parliament after al-Sadr ordered his supporters in the Sadrist movement, the biggest winner of the October 10, 2021 elections with 73 seats, to withdraw from parliament.

    In recent months, ongoing disputes between Shia parties have hampered the formation of a new Iraqi government, which has been unable to elect a new president with a two-thirds majority in the 329-seat parliament, as required by the constitution.

    If elected, the president would appoint the prime minister nominated by the largest alliance in parliament – which is currently the coordination framework – to form a new government that would run the country for the next four years.

    more on the subject – Election irregularities: Iraqi Supreme Court rejects appeal against election results

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