Iraq's Sadrist movement refuses to take part in next government
The Sadrist movement in Iraq confirms its refusal to participate in any future government, and considers assigning Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani to form a government to be bringing Iraq back to square one.
Leader of the Iraqi Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr announced his refusal to join the new government formed by prime minister-designate Mohammad Shia Al-Sudani.
The announcement came two days after lawmakers elected Abdul Latif Rashid as Iraq's new president, and he quickly appointed Sudani as prime minister in an effort to end a year of political stalemate that has lasted since the October 2021 elections.
"We stress our firm and clear refusal for any of our affiliates to participate... in this government formation," Mohammed Saleh Al-Iraqi, a close associate of Sadr, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Sadr had ordered the resignation of the 73 lawmakers in his bloc in June, leaving parliament in the hands of the Framework, which includes members of the former paramilitary Hashed Al-Shaabi.
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In his statement on Saturday, Al-Sadr claimed that the upcoming government has a "clear subordination to militias" and would "not meet the (Iraqi) people's aspirations".
According to him, the Sadrist movement will not participate in any government led by Sudani or "any other candidate from among the old faces or those affiliated with the corrupt.
"Anyone who joins their ministries does not represent us... rather, we disavow them," Iraqi said.
Snap elections were held last year in response to nationwide protests in October 2019 against endemic corruption, deteriorating infrastructure, and a lack of services and jobs for youth.
Al-Sadr has repeatedly demanded early elections, whereas his political opponent, the Coordination Framework, wants a new government in place before any elections are held.
Tensions were fueled on August 29 Sadr supporters stormed the Iraqi government's palace in Baghdad's Green Zone. In response, the leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq apologized to the Iraqi people in his first speech since announcing his retirement from political life, and the beginning of the armed clashes that took place in the country and resulted in about 23 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Al-Sadr said in a press conference that "regardless of who started the strife yesterday, I apologize to the Iraqi people who are the only ones affected by what happened."
The Iraqi leader stressed that "the revolution that was marred by violence is no longer a revolution, and I am now criticizing the revolution of the Sadrist movement," noting that "recent events have made Iraq a prisoner of corruption and violence at the same time."
He also warned that “the party is disciplined and obedient, and I wash my hands of those who do not withdraw from the parliament building within an hour.”