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Iraqi Protestors Storm Parliament Amid Political Deadlock
A supporter of the Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr lies on the desk of the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, as demonstrators gather inside the Iraqi parliament in the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone to protest a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister, on July 27, 2022. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

Iraqi Protestors Storm Parliament Amid Political Deadlock

Hundreds of Iraqi protesters stormed Baghdad’s parliament on Wednesday, most of them supporters of populist Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Al-Sadr’s supporters demonstrated against the nomination of Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, the pick for premier of the Coordination Framework, the Iraqi umbrella group of Shi’ite parliamentary parties.

The Coordination Framework became the largest alliance in the Iraqi parliament after al-Sadr ordered his followers in the Sadrist Movement to withdraw from parliament as talks to form a new government stalled.

No lawmakers were present in parliament when the protestors stormed the capital’s high-security Green Zone, where government buildings and diplomatic missions are located.

Only security forces were in the building, appearing to allow the protestors inside.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi called on the protestors to “immediately withdraw” from the Green Zone.

Al-Sadr supporters similarly stormed the parliament in 2016, staging a sit-in and issuing demands for political reform after then Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sought to replace party-affiliated ministers with technocrats in an anti-corruption drive.

This is Iraq’s longest post-election deadlock, as infighting among Shi’ite and Kurdish groups prevent the formation of a government, stalling reforms needed as the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict.

The paralysis has left Iraq without a budget for 2022, holding up spending on much-needed infrastructure projects and economic reform.

Iraqis say the situation is exacerbating a lack of services and jobs despite Baghdad earning record oil income due to high crude prices and reduced military spending since the defeat of the Islamic State group five years ago.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

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