Sadr supporters launch sit-in outside top Iraq judicial body

BAGHDAD: Hundreds of people support Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr gave a meeting outside Iraq’s top judiciary on Tuesday, heightening tensions in the standoff with a rival Shiite coalition.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi cut short a visit to Egypt, where he was due to take part in a five-nation summit, to return home to monitor developments.
Kadhami “calls on all political parties to calm down and take advantage of the opportunity for national dialogue to lead the country out of the current crisis,” the statement from his office said.
The stalemate between rival Shiite factions has sparked an increasingly bitter war of words, but so far there has been no violence.
AFP reporters reported that the villains had camped outside parliament for the past three weeks, pitching tents outside the gates of Baghdad’s judicial headquarters.
They carried banners demanding the dissolution of parliament and new elections, 10 months after an inconclusive poll failed to produce a majority government.
Although his political bloc has been involved in previous administrations, securing top jobs in government ministries, Sadr himself has managed to stay politically conflicted and popular with his supporters. he considered an outsider fighting against corrupt elites.
“We want to stamp out corruption,” said Abu Karar al-Alyawi, a Sadr supporter among Tuesday’s protesters.
“The justice system is being blackmailed or maybe it’s also corrupt.”
On August 10, Sadr gave Supreme Judicial Council a week to dissolve parliament to end the political deadlock but the council ruled it lacked the authority to do so.
In the wake of Tuesday’s outcry, the council announced it would suspend work until further notice.
Police are deployed in numbers around the headquarters, which, unlike parliament, is located outside the high-security area of ​​Baghdad. Green zone government and diplomatic complex.
Sadr’s opponents in the so-called Coordination Framework, who have joined themselves just outside the Green Zone, want a transitional government before new polls are held.
They include former soldiers of the Tehran-backed Hashed al-Shaabi network, and the party of former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, a longtime enemy of Sadr.
Last week, the prime minister convened crisis talks with party leaders, but they were ostracized by the Sadrists.
Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq has been governed under a sectarian power-sharing system, giving the top spot to the country’s Shiite majority.
Sadists insist that after emerging from the 2021 elections as the largest bloc in parliament, the constitution has been amended to give the power to nominate a prime minister, something opponents of they strongly oppose.
The persistent failure of rival Shiite factions to form a government in a country ravaged by ailing infrastructure and dilapidated public services has increased public frustration. .
Iraqis accustomed to daily power cuts that last for days now also face water shortages as drought ravages the country.
Despite the wealth of oil, many Iraqis fall into poverty, and about 35% of young people are unemployed, according to United Nation.

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