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Sadr: No Dialogue with the Corrupt, Expect our Next Move

Sadr: No Dialogue with the Corrupt, Expect our Next Move

Sunday, 21 August, 2022 - 06:15
Sadr's supporters protest outside the Iraqi parliament (Getty Images)

The leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq, Muqtada al-Sadr, has said he would not hold talks with the corrupt, adding that he is preparing for the next move.

Tensions in Iraq have escalated over the inability of political factions to agree on the formation of a government, 10 months after parliamentary elections.

Some of Sadr’s followers stormed the parliament late last month and began a sit-in, first inside the building and then on its grounds where thousands remain.

Sadr submitted a proposal to the UN to hold a public live-streamed dialogue session with the political parties. However, he said there was no tangible response.

"Their answer did not address anything about reform, the protesters' demands, people's suffering. [..] We ask everyone to wait for our next move regarding the policy of ignoring what has happened to Iraq and its people due to corruption."

Sadr indicated that there would be no secret dialogue, asserting: "I do not hide anything from my people, and I will not associate with the corrupt and those who want to kill me."

Observers saw his statement about who wanted to harm or kill him as an expression of the severe tension among Shiite parties, divided between Sadr's movement and the Coordination Framework.

Sadr activists assert that they are ordered to maintain self-restraint and continue their protests in Baghdad and other cities.

The Sadrist movement did not attend the dialogue session called by caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi. The talks aimed to find a solution for the ongoing political crisis.

The meeting was attended by President Barham Salih, Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Baeq Zeidan, UN special representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and other political leaders.

Politicians both inside and outside Iraq have called for calm and dialogue between the parties as the only way to resolve the crisis amid fears that the country would slip into chaos.

The Coordination Framework insists on forming a "majority" transitional government headed by its candidate, Mohammad Shia al-Sudani, before holding new elections, while the Sadrist movement insists on dissolving parliament and holding early polls.

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