Iraq's Muqtada Al-Sadr quits politics
In a tweet, Sadr announces his final resignation from politics and the closure of all his party offices.
Leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr said Monday he is quitting politics. In a tweet, Sadr announced his final resignation from politics and the closure of all his party offices.
"I've decided not to meddle in political affairs. I, therefore, announce now my definitive retirement," said Al-Sadr.
He added that "all the institutions" linked to his Sadrist movement will be closed, except the mausoleum of his father, Mohammed Sadeq Al-Sadr, who was assassinated in 1999, and other heritage facilities.
Al-Sadr claimed that the retirement of Kazem Al-Haeri, a leading religious leader who is popular in Iraq, "was against his own will."
In reference to a long political stalemate that has left the country without a new government, he said “I wanted to straighten out this country.”
Simultaneously, dozens of Al-Sadr supporters stormed Baghdad's green zone shortly after the cleric announced his retirement from politics, according to the Al Mayadeen correspondent.
His most recent statement came two days after he said "all parties", including his own, should relinquish government positions to help resolve a months-long political crisis.
Due to disagreements between factions over forming a coalition, the country has been without a new government, prime minister, or president since legislative elections in October last year.
Al-Sadr's supporters have been staging a sit-in outside Iraq's parliament for several weeks after storming it on July 30 to protest the Coordination Framework's nomination of Mohammad Shiya Al-Sudani for Prime Minister.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi convened talks with party leaders earlier this month, but the Sadrists shunned them.
It is worth noting that Iraq, which is an oil-rich country, is plagued with poor infrastructure, unemployment, power outages, and crumbling public services -- the effects of the US invasion in 2003.