On July 15 Moqtada al-Sadr held a large Friday prayer ceremony to show the power of his movement to his political rivals the Coordination Framework. Since Sadr withdrew his parliamentarians at the end of June he has been threatening mass demonstrations to disrupt his opponents.
Middle East Eye reported that Sadr’s goal is to dismiss parliament and hold new elections. His hope is that his allies will gain in a new round of balloting and allow them to break the current political deadlock to form a new government nine months after the last vote. In the meantime, he will hold the threat of protests against the Framework and perhaps even storming the Green Zone which Sadr’s followers have done before.
Sadr’s push for a new legislature main gain traction because the Coordination Framework is having just as hard a time as Sadr had when he was in the driver’s seat. The two Kurdish parties can’t agree on a president which is the first step in creating a new government and then State of Law nominated Nuri al-Maliki to be prime minister again. Maliki is a divisive figure and even members of his own alliance don’t want to see him back in office. The problem is Maliki’s State of Law has the most seats within the Framework so he has no reason to back down. After a few more months of getting nothing done new elections may seem the only alternative.
Asharq Al-Awsat, “Sadr Sets 11 Conditions for Government Formation, Seeks to Exclude Maliki,” 7/16/22
- “Sadr’s Rivals Weigh Extending Kadhimi’s Term as Iraq PM,” 7/13/22
NRT, “Sadr’s Supporters Gather For Show Of Strength In Mass Prayer In Baghdad,” 7/15/22
- “State Of Law Coalition Selects Nuri Al-Maliki As Candidate For Prime Minister,” 7/3/22
Al-Salhy, Suadad, “Iraq: Sadr’s rivals fear mass demonstrations. His supporters do too,” Middle East Eye, 7/13/22
Xinhua, “Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for disbanding uncontrolled militias,” 7/15/22