Iraq – As UN mediates- Sadrist movement demands parliament’s dissolution

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Location: Baghdad – Iraq

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:04:10

Sound: natural

Source: A24 in Baghdad

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date: 05/08/ 2022

Storyline:

Thousands of protesters answered the call to join partisan Friday prayers today despite temperatures exceeding 42 degrees Celsius in Baghdad.

In a repeat show of force, they marched towards Baghdad’s Green Zone square, raising the national flag and Muqtada al-Sadr banners.

The Sadrist parliament sit in promoted their Shiite rivals in the Iran-backed Coordination Framework to say they were willing to hold new elections.

Tensions erupted last week when the Coordination Framework nominated Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani for prime minister. Inter-party violence injured at least 100 protesters and 25 members of the security forces in clashes last weekend.

Baghdad analyst Najm al-Qassab told A24 that al-Sadr would continue to demand the dissolution of parliament and a new round of parliamentary elections.

Al-Sadr raised pressure on his opposition Wednesday by calling for the dissolving of parliament ten months after the elections gave  him the largest number of seats -but not enough to build a majority government.

Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, met with the leader of the Sadrist movement to overcome the political crisis at his home in Najaf. They discussed ways to clear the impasse amid speculations regarding a UN initiative being formulated by Plasschaert.

Shotlist:

– Soundbite (Najm al-Qassab – Political researcher with close relations to the Sadrist movement):

“I believe Muqtada al-Sadr will continue to reiterate demands of dissolution of parliament and holding early elections, as he has massive popularity among the Iraqi public. There are some disagreements regarding the electoral law, electoral commission, and retention or removal of Mustafa Al-Kazemi. I believe Al-Kazemi will continue to run the state. The electoral commission might replace some of its members, or continue as is. The election law will be amended. However, regardless of the changes to the electoral law, the Sadrist movement has already raised its level; socially and politically.”

– Soundbite (Makhled Hazem – Political researcher):

“Khatib (who delivers the sermon) emphasized after today’s Friday prayer, the demands for dissolution of parliament and holding early elections. There is no room for dialogue, because al-Sadr has already taken action, there is no going back. Today, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jenin Plasschaert announced an initiative during her meeting with al-Sadr in Al-Hanana, as well as after her meeting with Hadi Al-Amiri in Baghdad yesterday. The only course of action is the dissolution of parliament, the process and mechanisms of which will be decided on in the coming days.”

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