In Iraq, Influential leader Moqtada Sadr calls for broader protest.

Influential Shia leader Moqtada Sadr on Sunday called for a broader protest in Iraq and support for protesters occupying parliament, offering no signs of de-escalation in a country mired in crisis.

On Saturday, for the second time in less than a week, thousands of supporters of Moqtada Sadr invaded the seat of parliament in Baghdad’s ultra-secure Green Zone to protest against a candidate for prime minister proposed by their opponents.

On the second day of the sit-in, the demonstrators seem determined to stay in Parliament, having taken mattresses and blankets there. Volunteers distributed hot meals and swept up the piles of garbage in the gardens to load them into vans.

Since the legislative elections of October 2021, Iraq has experienced total political paralysis. Months of endless negotiations between the major parties have still not made it possible to elect a new President of the Republic or a new head of government.

The first force in Parliament resulting from the legislative elections, the current of Mr Sadr finally made his 73 deputies resign in June after having been unable to muster the majority necessary to appoint a Prime Minister.

On Sunday, Moqtada Sadr, the troublemaker of Iraqi politics, called on Twitter to continue the mobilization.

He hailed a “spontaneous and peaceful revolution that liberated the Green Zone – a first step,” seeing it as “an extraordinary opportunity for fundamental change in the political system.”

He called on “everyone, including our tribes, our security forces, and members of Hachd al-Chaabi (former pro-Iran paramilitaries integrated into the regular forces) to support the revolutionaries”.

– “Continuous escalation” –

His opponents of the “Coordination Framework”, an alliance of pro-Iran Shiite factions grouping Hachd al-Chaabi, reacted in a press release by reiterating “the call for dialogue with all political forces, in particular, the Sadrist current”.

The alliance – which nominated the candidate for the post of Prime Minister rejected by Mr Sadr – at the same time deplored “a continuous escalation”, indirectly accusing Mr. Sadr of calling for a “coup d’etat” against the state institutions after his tweet.

The Coordination Framework also includes the training of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – the historical enemy of Mr Sadr.

The alliance had proposed handing over the reins of the new government to Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, a 52-year-old former minister.

By safiremedia

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