Al-Sadr supporters protest in Iraq capital over new PM nomination

by | Jul 30, 2022 | World

New show of strength comes three days after storming of parliament over candidacy of Mohammed al-Sudani for prime minister.Iraqi protesters have once again breached concrete barricades leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone in a show of support for influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, days after they stormed parliament and suspended a session to nominate a new prime minister.
Security forces on Saturday fired tear gas canisters as demonstrators pulled down and climbed over a number of large concrete barriers surrounding the area, which cordons off government buildings and foreign embassies.
“All the people are with you Sayyid Muqtada,” the protesters chanted, using his title as a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
The media office of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi issued a statement calling on security officers to guarantee the safety of state institutions.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Baghdad, said “the protesters do not seem willing to back off despite reports of injuries from tear gas canisters.”
He added that on Wednesday, when a large crowd occupied the parliament building, security forces had backed down, letting the large crowds enter the perimeter relatively unhindered.
The protesters oppose the candidacy of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, who is the pro-Iran Coordination Framework’s pick for the premier’s post.
Al-Sadr’s bloc emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction but still fell far short of a majority.
Ten months on, the deadlock persists over the establishment of a new governme …

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