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Iraq: coalition proposes initiative to Al-Sadr prior to forming government

August 31, 2022 at 11:16 am

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022 [Karar Essa/Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi political coalition known as the Coordination Framework is planning to propose a goodwill initiative to senior Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr prior to the formation of a new government, Anadolu reported on Tuesday. The framework is an umbrella coalition of Iraqi Shia parties united mostly by their opposition to the Sadrist movement.

Al-Sadr had announced earlier his total withdrawal from politics in Iraq, triggering a wave of violence in Baghdad and other cities. For 18 hours on Monday and Tuesday, they witnessed chaos and clashes between supporters of different political groups and security forces, leading to 23 people being killed, and another 380 wounded.

According to Ali Fatlawi, a member of Al-Fatah Alliance, part of the Coordination Framework, said that Al-Sadr is “an important part” of the political process. Hence, the Framework’s initiative.

Fatlawi did not reveal the terms of the initiative, but said that it would include a goodwill gesture. The Sadrists, meanwhile, continue to reject the Coordination Framework’s nomination of Mohammad Al-Sudani as Prime Minister, and want a snap legislative election.

READ: Iraq cleric Sadr calls off protests after worst Baghdad violence in years

However, Fatlawi believes that Al-Sadr’s withdrawal of his followers from the Green Zone and the Iraqi streets is a “green light” to Iraq’s political forces to start forming the government. On Tuesday, both the coalition bloc and the Sadrists called for their followers to leave the streets and go home after more than a month of protests. They also called for dialogue to solve the political stalemate in the country.

Before stepping down from political activity on Monday, Al-Sadr called on Iraq’s political parties to step aside and hold an early election to help solve the country’s political crisis.

Hands are tied as the political unrest continues in Iraq - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Hands are tied as the political unrest continues in Iraq – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]