(Photo Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)
The head of Iraq’s Asaeb Ahl al-Haq resistance group, Qais al-Khazali, announced on 23 September that the Coordination Framework (CF) agreed to hold early elections in show of good faith to the movement led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a prominent rival of the CF.
“For the return of the Sadrist bloc’s deputies, there is no solution without early elections,” Khazali said, noting that “the CF is ready to respond to all the Sadrist movement logical demands and does not want to exclude the latter.”
Iraqis are still waiting for the country’s politicians to form a government since the anticipated parliamentary elections that took place last October, with political elites unable to find an agreement.
According to Khazali, the CF is open to solutions, did not carry out any provocation, and was objective and practical, stressing that “we are ready for the [Sadrist] movement to participate in the government as per the same number of Sadrist MP’s that have resigned.”
Additionally, Khazali expressed his belief that “Mohammed Shia al-Sudani is ready to concede if this is the solution” and asked, “is Iraq’s only problem now the prime minister [position] and the person of Sudani only?”
Earlier, the CF confirmed ongoing talks with all parties to implement constitutional requirements, stressing its complete adherence to its candidate for Prime Minister.
On 29 August, Sadr announced his second retirement from politics this year, after spending weeks agitating his followers into seizing government institutions to demand the dissolution of parliament.
He also announced the closure of his party’s institutions, except for his father’s shrine, the historical monument institution, and the Sadr family’s museum.
Following his retirement, gunshots and rocket fire rang out in Baghdad’s green zone as supporters of Sadr clashed with security forces, leaving at least 30 people killed and 380 others injured.
Earlier this month, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi, called for discussing the election of a president, the formation of a government with full powers, as well as the adoption of the annual federal budget.