Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calling for snap elections after the dissolution for the current parliament on August 3, 2022. Photo: Sadr’s office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday announced the indefinite postponement of the “million-man” demonstration by his supporters set to take place in Baghdad, in a move against the counter-protests called for by his political rivals.
Sadrist supporters were set to hold “million-man” protests on Saturday afternoon from Tahrir Square to the Grand Festivities Square in Baghdad, to express their support for Sadr’s calls for the dissolution of the parliament and the organization of snap parliamentary elections
Sadrist rivals, pro-Iran Shiite parliamentary faction Coordination Framework, on Monday evening asked their supporters to prepare for mass counter-protests, calling for hastening the government formation process, with the time and place of the demonstrations to be announced at a later time.
“Your policy of imitating our steps is evidence of your failure and your persistence on your corruption,” said Sadr in a tweet on Tuesday, saying he is postponing Saturday’s demonstrations until further notice “out of love for Iraq and infatuation for its people and sanctities.”
Sadr added that the demonstrations will continue until the demands of the people are met, calling on his supporters to keep the “peacefulness of the protests,” clarifying that the decision to postpone the “million-man” demonstrations is to foil the “malicious” plans of his political rivals.
The leader of the Sadrist Movement in recent weeks has continuously called for the dissolution of the parliament, in light of the legislature’s failure to form a new government 10 months after its election on October 2021.
Sadr emerged from the October elections with the most seats in the parliament, 73, but resigned from the legislature due to the continued obstruction of his attempts to form a national majority government by the Coordination Framework, who called for the formation of a government based on political consensus.