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HomeMiddle East NewsTURKEYIraq's cleric Muqtada al Sadr quits politics

Iraq’s cleric Muqtada al Sadr quits politics

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Iraq’s cleric Muqtada al Sadr quits politics
Fast News

The announcement has raised fears that Sadr’s supporters might escalate their protests, fuelling a new phase of instability in Iraq.

Sadrc criticised fellow Shia political leaders for failing to heed his calls for reform.
Sadrc criticised fellow Shia political leaders for failing to heed his calls for reform.
(AP Archive)

Iraq’s Shia Muslim
cleric Muqtada al Sadr has announced that he is quitting
politics and closing his institutions in response to an
intractable political deadlock. 

“I hereby announce my final withdrawal,” Sadr said in a
statement posted on Twitter on Monday.

He criticised fellow Shia political leaders for failing
to heed his calls for reform. He did not elaborate on the
closure of his offices, but said that some of his cultural and
religious institutions would remain open.

Sadr withdrew his lawmakers from parliament in June after he
failed to form a government of his choosing. 

A political impasse
between him and Shia rivals close to Iran has given Iraq its
longest run without a government.

Supporters of Sadr have since the end of July occupied
parliament and protested near government buildings, halting the
process to choose a new president and prime minister.

READ MORE: Iraq’s Sadr proposes ‘all parties’ leave government posts

Fears of more protests

Monday’s announcement raised fears that Sadr’s supporters
might escalate their protests, fuelling a new phase of
instability in Iraq.

The standoff in Iraq is the longest stretch without a fully functioning government in the nearly two decades since Saddam Hussein was overthrown in a US-led invasion in 2003.

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

The country has struggled to recover since the defeat of Daesh in 2017 because political parties have squabbled over power and the vast oil wealth possessed by Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer. 

READ MORE: Iraq’s top judicial body suspends activities as Sadr supporters protest


Source: Reuters


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