Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, has unleashed a show of popular force driven by slogans of dissolving the parliament, holding early elections, and discrediting the legitimacy of authorities that took over the country after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.
While followers of the religious scholar held protests in support of his demands for the judiciary to dissolve the parliament, the rival Coordination Framework launched rallies calling for preserving the state’s prestige and backing legitimate authorities.
The result was that Iraq has been rocked by demonstrations that are not only gripping its capital, Baghdad, but also other provinces.
Sadr, in a tweet, called Coordination Framework followers to support the Sadrist Movement’s call for the dissolution of parliament, early elections and the fight against corruption.
“According to my understanding, we and the Coordination Framework’s followers are in agreement about the existence of corruption and its pervasiveness in the country,” said Sadr according to a statement released by his office on Friday.
Addressing Coordination Framework supporters, Sadr said that his movement was also rallying for their sake, adding that Iraq has fallen captive to occupation, terrorism, and corruption.
“Let your demonstrations be a victory for reform, not a victory for the prestige of the state and the governments that ruled without any benefit for Iraq,” added Sadr.
“Do you not want your dignity, freedom, security, sustenance, safety and well-being, as we demand?!”
“Generally. Our hands are extended to you, the followers of the Coordination Framework, not its leaders, to try to fix what has been corrupted,” concluded the Shiite scholar.