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HomeWorldSupporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr storm parliament building in Baghdad

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr storm parliament building in Baghdad

The Iraqi parliament’s sessions have been put on hold awaiting a second decision due to the actions of the Sadr Movement’s followers within the parliament building.

The declaration was made on Saturday by the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed al Halbusi, and was made public by the Iraqi government’s official news agency, INA.

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According to Halbusi, the country is going through sensitive times and that differences between political parties and even between different points of view was typical in modern democracies.

Halbusi urged all political parties to put the interests of the state first and called for nonviolent action and the protection of state property, stressing that discussion was the only way to resolve differences of any magnitude.

The parliament session was stopped earlier on Saturday when Muqtada al Sadr’s followers stormed the parliament building inside Baghdad’s heavily protected “Green Zone” for the second demonstration in three days.

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The pro-Iran Coordination Framework’s choice for premier, former minister, and ex-provincial governor Mohammed al Sudani, is not supported by the Shia cleric’s supporters.

The latest obstacle for oil-rich Iraq, which is still entrenched in a political and socio-economic crisis despite elevated global petroleum prices, is the protests against the formation of the next government by groups supported by Iran.

Former militia commander Sadr had first backed the notion of a “majority government”. That would have incited opposition from his Shia rivals in the pro-Iran Coordination Framework.

The largest parliamentary faction after the October elections was Sadr’s coalition, but it fell far short of a majority. After ten months, there is still no progress in creating a new government.

Seventy-three of Sadr’s parliamentarians in June resigned in a move that was perceived as an attempt to put pressure on his rivals to hasten the formation of a government. Later in June, 64 new legislators were sworn in, making the pro-Iran caucus the largest in parliament.

That incited the fury of Sadr’s supporters, who, according to a security source, also trashed the offices of Maliki’s Daawa party and the Hikma movement – both of which are a part of the Coordination Framework – in Baghdad on Friday night.

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