Iraq. Shia leader Muktada al-Sadr calls for dissolution of parliament and elections

In a televised address, Shia leader Muktada al-Sadr called for the dissolution of the Iraqi parliament and early legislative elections. While the country is paralyzed by political wrangling, he felt “not interested” in talks with his opponents.

In a context of total political paralysis, the powerful Shiite leader Muktada al-Sadr, in a televised address on Wednesday August 3, called for the dissolution of the Iraqi parliament as well as for early legislative elections.

According to the Iraqi constitution, parliament can only be dissolved by an absolute majority. It can be requested by one third of the deputies, or by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the President of the Republic.

Tensions escalated in Iraq when Muktada al-Sadr’s candidate for prime minister was rejected by his opponents, the pro-Iranian Shia factions that form an influential coordinating cadre.

“I am sure that the majority of the population is completely outraged by the ruling class, including some (politicians) linked to my present,” the Shiite leader acknowledged in his speech broadcast on local television on Wednesday evening. “From now on, there will be no more former personalities, whatever their affiliation”, he assured, proposing “a peaceful revolutionary democratic process, then early democratic elections after the dissolution of the current parliament”.

It is the troublemaker’s first public statement in Iraqi politics as his supporters stormed the parliament building on Saturday in their thousands to strike.

In search of the head of government

The Sadrist Current won the last legislative elections in October 2021, in which 73 were elected for a parliament of 329 deputies.

But in June, Muktada al-Sadr surprised his representatives by resigning, failing to appoint a prime minister and form a “majority” government with his allies.

Following this resignation, opponents of the coordination framework became the main Shiite bloc within the Hemicycle. The coalition includes a former Hachad al-Chabi paramilitary and historical enemy of Muqtada al-Sadr, the party of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. At the end of July, he presented his candidacy for the post of prime minister to Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, a 52-year-old former minister and former provincial governor.

Nearly ten months of negotiations and political skirmishes between the parties have not allowed Iraq to appoint a new president or head of government of the republic.

Muktada al-Sadr launched a campaign of maximum pressure against his opponents, and demonstrated that he was still able to mobilize the crowd to advance his pawn: twice his supporters attacked parliament in late July. did, set up camp.

He insisted, “Revolutionaries and protesters should join the dharna and continue their camp until the demands are implemented.”

call for frequent conversations

The Shia leader’s speech comes at a time when there is a growing demand for dialogue on the political scene.

“Serious dialogues that can give hope to resolve disputes (…) begin with respect for constitutional institutions”, a brief tweet in reference to the capture of parliament on Wednesday evening launched at Nouri al-Maliki. Because in an attempt to find a way out of the crisis, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who manages current affairs, recently proposed a “national dialogue”.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) also called for “meaningful dialogue” between all parties, saying it was “more urgent than ever”.

French President Emmanuel Macron also addressed Iraqi leaders on Tuesday and told them of “his concern about the situation in Iraq”, according to the Elysee. He called on his availability “to contribute to dialogue and consultations” between the different parties, noting that this is “the only way that can help to get out of the crisis”.

But the talks are not on Muktada al-Sadr’s agenda. “We have already tried to negotiate with them and experimented, but it has brought nothing to us and the country, even despite their promises of ruin and corruption (…)”, he reprimanded. “No interest is expected from such a dialogue”.

AFP. with