Iraq protesters on Saturday chased out lawmakers and took over the parliamentary building with a view or demand to change the political system in the country.
The protesters forced their way into the parliament building after resisting several shots of sand bombs and teargas from the security operatives.
Since Saturday, the protesters have remained inside the parliamentary building, insisting, they wouldn’t leave until their demands are meant.
Details of the events are presented thus:
Jusoor Post news media
🇮🇶 Supporters of powerful Iraqi cleric #Moqtada_Sadr occupied the country’s parliament on Saturday with no plan to leave, deepening a months-long political standoff.
It is the second time in days that supporters of the firebrand Shiite cleric have forced their way into the legislative chamber, after October elections failed to lead to the formation of a government.
“The demonstrators announce a sit-in until further notice,” Sadr’s movement said in a brief statement to journalists carried by state news agency INA.
In multi-confessional and multi-ethnic Iraq, government formation has involved complex negotiations since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
Supporters of Sadr, who once led a militia against US and Iraqi government forces, oppose a rival, pro-Iran Shiite bloc’s pick for prime minister — Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.
The post conventionally goes to a figure from Iraq’s Shiite majority.
Voice Of America News media:
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad stormed into Iraq’s Parliament inside the Green Zone in the largest demonstration since 2020, July 30, 2022.
Hundreds of followers of an influential Shiite cleric breached Iraq’s parliament on Saturday, the second time in a week, to protest the government formation efforts lead by Iran-backed groups.
Iraqi security forces used tear gas and sound bombs to try to repel the demonstrators and caused several injuries witnessed by journalists for The Associated Press. An expected parliament session did not take place and there were no lawmakers in the hall.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi directed security forces to protect demonstrators and asked them to keep their protest peaceful, according to a statement.
Thousands of demonstrators, the followers of influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, used ropes to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of Iraq’s Green Zone, which houses official buildings and foreign embassies.
They were heeding al-Sadr’s call to protest the formation of the next government lead by the Coalition Framework, an alliance of Shiite parties backed by Iran.
“We came today to remove the corrupt political class and prevent them from holding a parliament session, and to prevent the Framework from forming a government,” said Raad Thabet, 41. “We responded to al-Sadr’s call. We will go to the Green [Zone]. No matter the cost.”
Al-Sadr’s party exited government formation talks in June, giving his rivals in the Coordination Framework alliance the majority they needed to move forward with the process.
Many protesters wore black to mark the days leading to Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohamed and one of Shiite Islam’s most important figures. Al-Sadr’s messaging to his followers has used the important day in Shiite Islam to kindle protests.