Iraq’s political turbulence

According to Arab media, the Supporters of powerful Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr occupied the country’s parliament on Saturday and announced an unlimited sit-in in Iraqi Parliament until their demands are not met by the government. The thousands of protesters entered the chamber after, the violent mob pulled down concrete barriers on the entrance of the Baghdad green zone and ran inside the Parliamentary complex in the highly guarded area of the capital. The Security forces fired tear gas and water cannon to stop the protesters from entering the area but failed.

The Islamic Republic of Iraq is facing acute political polarisation and uncertainty after the Country’s parliamentary elections in October last year, which concluded with an evenly divided Parliament with no absolute majority of any party. However, Moqtada Sadr’s bloc had emerged as the biggest parliamentary faction but was still unable to form a government independently. Iraqi political parties are in negotiations over the past nine months to elect a head of the state but failed to reach a solution. Due to the months-long deadlock in the formation of the new government, Iraq could not adopt an annual budget for the current fiscal year while the public is facing severe problems in education, healthcare, and other administrative services.

Historically, the informal political agreement offers the Presidency to Kurds, while Shia parties decide on a candidate for Prime Minister and after the nomination of both top slots, the Chief Executive gets approval for his cabinet within a month and forms government in the country. Due to the ongoing ruckus, former Premier Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is working as caretaker Prime Minister and will continue his job until the appointment of his successor.

Presently, the Sadrist movement is opposing Iran-backed Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani for the post of Prime Minister on the charges of corruption and using street power against him, while Sudani’s colleagues are leveling the same allegations against Moqtada Sadr. In fact, no one is free from guilt, however, using the same weapon against the opponents. As Iraqis are used to such ruckuses, therefore, the public is waiting for an improvement in the situation patiently.