Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraq’s Kadhimi Convenes Crisis Talks without Muqtada al-Sadr

Iraq’s Kadhimi Convenes Crisis Talks without Muqtada al-Sadr

Thursday, 18 August, 2022 - 08:30
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi speaks during the national dialogue meeting under the auspices of President Barham Salih (AFP)

Iraqi political blocs on Wednesday held a meeting in the government palace building upon the invitation of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for the purpose of discussing the current crisis in the country.

“The dialogue session was held in the presence of Iraqi President Barham Salih, the heads of the legislative and judicial authorities, political leaders and United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert,” a statement from al-Kadhimi’s office said.

The office of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, announced that the movement would not participate in the meeting. However, Sadrists are willing to deal with the meeting’s outcomes.

“The Sadrist movement did not participate in the political dialogue called for al-Kadhimi, neither directly nor indirectly,” affirmed a statement by al-Sadr’s office.

Kadhimi invited rival political parties to hold a meeting to seek a solution to the political deadlock as disputes escalated in the past weeks between al-Sadr and his rivals from the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties.

On Aug. 3, al-Sadr, a firebrand Shiite cleric, urged his followers to continue their sit-in protest until their demands to dissolve the parliament and hold early elections are met.

The CF became the largest alliance in the Iraqi parliament after al-Sadr ordered his followers in the Sadrist Movement, the biggest winner of the elections held on Oct. 10, 2021, with 73 seats, to withdraw from the parliament.

During the past months, the continued disputes among the Shiite parties have hampered the formation of a new Iraqi government, making it unable to elect a new president by a two-thirds majority of the 329-seat parliament under the constitution.

If elected, the president will appoint the prime minister nominated by the largest alliance in the parliament, now the CF, to form a new government that would rule the country for the next four years.

Editor Picks