Sunday, 24 September 2023 07:13 GMT

Prominent Shiite Cleric's Opponents Launch Rival Sit-In In Iraqi Capital

(MENAFN- Nam News Network)

BAGHDAD, Aug 13 (NNN-NINA) – Opponents of the powerful Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, yesterday launched a sit-in outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, to counter an ongoing one, by al-Sadr's followers that has lasted almost two weeks.

The opponents, who are loyal to the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties, demanded a rapid formation of a new government. They also urged the political parties, especially the Kurdish ones, to expedite the submission of a candidate for the post of president and prime minister.

Meanwhile, al-Sadr's supporters continued their sit-in, in and outside the parliament building, demanding comprehensive reform of the political process and a fight against corruption.

The protests began on Jul 30, when hundreds of al-Sadr's followers broke into the parliament building in the Green Zone, and started an open sit-in, accusing the Shiite parties, who have led the government since 2003, of corruption and poor governance.

On Aug 3, al-Sadr called for dissolving the parliament and holding early elections, urging his followers to continue their sit-in until their demands are met.

The CF became the largest alliance in the Iraqi parliament, after al-Sadr ordered his followers in the Sadrist Movement, the biggest winner of the elections held on Oct 10, 2021, with 73 seats, to withdraw from parliament.

During the past months, the continued disputes among the Shiite parties have hampered the formation of a new Iraqi government, making it unable to elect a new president by a two-thirds majority of the 329-seat parliament, under the constitution.

If elected, the president will appoint the prime minister, nominated by the largest alliance in parliament, now the CF, to form a new government, that would rule the country for the next four years.– NNN-NINA


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