Shia Leader, Muqtada Al-Sadr, withdraws from Iraqi Politics

Shia Leader, Muqtada Al-Sadr, quits Politics Iraqi Shia Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr

The Iraqi Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr has announced that he is quitting political life and closing his political offices in a move that could further inflame tensions in the country.

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“I hereby announce my final withdrawal,” al-Sadr said on Monday.

The statement, published on Twitter, comes amid months of protests by his supporters backing his call for the dissolution of the Iraqi parliament.

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In his statement, al-Sadr attacked his political opponents, and said that had not listened to his calls for reform.

Many of al-Sadr’s supporters have been participating in a sit-in outside the Iraqi parliament since the end of July, when they stormed the building and stopped al-Sadr’s rivals from appointing a new prime minister.

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Reacting to their leader’s statement, many of those supporters at the sit-in reacted by attempting to converge on the parliamentary building once again on Monday.

Al-Sadr’s supporters had won the most seats in October’s parliamentary elections, but were unable to form a government.

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He ordered his parliamentary bloc to resign en-masse in June, which they promptly did, although this handed the initiative in parliament to his Iran-backed Shia opponents, the Coordination Framework Alliance.

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court is meeting on Tuesday to decide on whether the parliament will be dissolved.

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Al-Sadr has announced his withdrawal from political life before, only to walk his decision back.

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