Supporters of the Sadrist Movement stormed the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad. (Photo credit: PA Media)
Both the Coordination Framework (CF) leaders and Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement, are rounding up their supporters for a new round of mobilizations in the Iraqi capital.
The move has raised concerns, as any violence could significantly worsen Iraq’s 10-month long political deadlock and sink the nation further into chaos.
The CF – a partnership of mainly Shia political forces with close ties to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – called on their supporters to demonstrate on 12 August at 5pm local time.
Their demonstration will support the Judicial and Legislative authorities against an ultimatum issued by Al-Sadr earlier this week to dissolve parliament.
“We meet at the bridge. The free people will have a stance that rejects seizing the public opinion and monopolizing it under any circumstances. Iraq is for all. The parliament belongs to the people and the judiciary is a foundation of the state,” the CF said in a statement issued on 11 August.
On the other hand, Sadrist leaders also called upon their supporters to take to the streets at the same time. Al-Sadr’s supporters have been holding sit-in protests outside parliament in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone district for over a week.
Sadrists launched their siege of parliament in protest against the possible nomination of Mohammed al-Sudani for the post of prime minister. Al-Sudani is a former cabinet minister with close ties to Nouri al-Maliki, a CF leader and the head of the State of Law coalition.
On Wednesday, Al-Sadr threatened officials with unspecific consequences if the Supreme Judicial Council did not meet his demands to “dissolve parliament by the end of next week … if not, the revolutionaries will take another stance.”
Though the faction of Al-Sadr won the October elections by a landslide, his efforts to form a government without the involvement of the CF proved fruitless.
In a drastic move, all Sadrist lawmakers resigned in June under Sadr’s instructions. Al-Sadr then announced his own retirement from Iraqi politics.