Iraq’s Sadr tells judiciary to dissolve parliament in a week


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Powerful Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday called on the country’s judiciary to dissolve parliament by end of next week, threatening unspecific consequences if it does not do what he says.

The populist leader has helped inflame tensions in Iraq over the last two weeks by commanding thousands of followers to storm and occupy parliament, preventing the formation of a government nearly 10 months after elections.

His political opponents, mostly fellow Shi’ites backed by Iran, have refused to accede to Sadr’s demands, raising fears of fresh unrest and violence in a conflict-weary Iraq.

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A veiled woman protester holds an Iraqi flag as people gather near the Green Zone area in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, July 30, 2022 — days after hundreds breached Baghdad’s parliament Wednesday chanting anti-Iran curses in a demonstration against a nominee for prime minister by Iran-backed parties.
(AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

The judiciary “must dissolve parliament by the end of next week… if not, the revolutionaries will take another stance,” Sadr said in a statement on his Twitter account, without elaborating.

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Afghan women wait to receive food rations distributed by a Saudi humanitarian aid group, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 25, 2022.
((AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi))

Sadr has called for early elections and unspecified changes to the constitution after withdrawing his lawmakers from parliament in June.

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The withdrawal was a protest against his failure to form a government despite holding nearly a quarter of parliament and having enough allies to make up more than half the chamber.

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Sadr blames Iran-aligned parties for the failed government formation and accuses them of corruption, but his followers also control some of the worst-managed government departments.



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