Muqtada al-Sadr supporters storm parliament building in Baghdad
After nine months of dispute between the country's different political factions to create a new government, the stalemate turned into unrest when the supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke into Iraq's parliament building on Wednesday.
Police tried to block the protesters with tear gas but the crowds managed to breach a high-security zone and entered parliament in protest at a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister.
The candidate Mohammed al-Sudani is seen unfit to be prime minister by Sadr supporters as they believe him to be too close to Iran.
Hundreds of Sadr supporters were seen inside the parliament dancing, singing and laying on tables while posing for selfies inside the parliament.
BREAKING: Protestors in Baghdad have stormed into #Iraq’s Parliament inside the Green Zone in biggest demonstration since 2020. Mostly followers of Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr: pic.twitter.com/RBlm9xpGFS— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) July 27, 2022
Sadr's political alliance emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction, but filed to form a government due to lack of a majority in the parliamentary seats.
Nine months later, deadlock over the establishment of a new government still persists.
Nearly two hours after the storming of the assembly, shiite leader Sadr told the crowds to leave the building.
“"Your message has been heard... you have terrorised the corrupt," Sadr wrote on Twitter.
In 2019, hundreds of people were killed by the security forces during mass protests against corruption and unemployment.