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Analysis

Sadr’s Withdrawal from Politics: Permanent or Temporary?

Wednesday 31 August 2022
Sadr’s Withdrawal from Politics: Permanent or Temporary?

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Alwaght- Iraq once again descended into chaos on Monday after powerful cleric Muqtada Sadr said he was quitting politics, prompting his loyalists, in particular Saraya al-Salam militiamen, to storm Baghdad's Green Zone, home to government offices and diplomatic missions. However after a day of deadly clashes that claimed lives of about 30 people and wounded hundreds more, Sadr told his followers to leave their protests in central Baghdad and apologized to the Iraqi people.

During the past months, Iraq's political scene has been in stabile, and amid serious differences between political groups, the process of forming a new government has been stalled for several months. It is not clear whether Sadr's decision to quit politics is temporary or permanent, but this decision can be described as a political earthquake that has caused a confusing and confusing scene after the elections for the majority of the political groups.

There is no doubt that Sadr's disagreement with the proposals of the Shiite Coordination Framework has been the main obstacle to implement initiatives for resolving the crisis. However, now that Sadr has chosen to leave political scene it is not clear that his decision will help beak the country's political stalemate or will make it more complicate.

 

Will Muqtada return?

This is not the first time that Muqtada Sadr announces his resignation from politics. Indeed, since 2013, this is the seventh times that Sadr announces his resignation from politicos.

In 2008, he dissolved Jaysh al-Mahdi militia group, but then he formed Saraya al-Salam, another militia force. In January 2018, he called for the re-formation of Jaish al-Mahdi in a statement. At one point, he decided to devote himself to studying in religion in Iran's holy city of Qom and stay away from politics, which he never fulfilled. Sadr has always participated in different governments that were formed after 2003 in Iraq; however, he simultaneously tried to paint himself as an opposition figure who has no role the power structure.

Regarding Sadr's past undone resignations, some experts believe that this time, too, he announced quitting politics to achieve more popularity among his followers.    

Sadrist movement thinks that its goals, including amending Iraq's constitution, changing the ruling system from parliamentary to a presidential, and directly electing the president and governors, is only achievable through popular uprising. Therefore, from time to time Sadrist movement resorts to mass street protests in order to force its political rivals to give in to its demands, but when developments do not advance in a path that is favorite for the movement, Sadr calls for the withdrawal of his loyalists from streets.

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Sadr Politics Iraq

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Supreme Leader meets with Iraqi PM in Tehran

Supreme Leader meets with Iraqi PM in Tehran