Iraq: Sadr calls for the dissolution of the parliament and snap elections

Iraq: Sadr calls for the dissolution of the parliament and snap elections
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Leader of the Sadrist movement has said that a purge of "old faces, regardless of affiliation" should be carried out through a peaceful, democratic process.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose supporters stormed the Iraqi parliament on Saturday to start a sit-in, called for the dissolution of the current parliament and for snap elections in a live video message late Wednesday.

The sit-in has been staged in protest against the prime ministerial candidate of the rival Coordination Framework, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

The political deadlock caused by disagreements between the political parties over the formation of a new government has been continuing since the elections last October.

“I know the majority of the people are fed up with the whole ruling class, which also includes some affiliated with the [Sadrist] Movement," Sadr said in his recent address, adding:

"The old faces, regardless of affiliations, will not exist anymore, through a democratic, revolutionary, and peaceful process, and eventually through democratic snap elections, after the dissolution of the current parliament."

Sadr also called on supporters to continue with their demonstrations around the parliament grounds. 

The head of the press office of Nouri al-Maliki, part of the Coordination Framework, called for dialogue on Wednesday, and said that the decision to start a dialogue to overcome the current political turmoil is in the hands of Muqtada al-Sadr.

"We support the means of dialogue and we issued a statement two days ago urging all parties to sit at the dialogue table to resolve the situation and find a way out of the existing political crisis," Hisham al-Rikabi said.

The Coordination Framework's earlier call for dialogue was rejected by the Sadrist movement.