Iraq’s Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement refuses to join new government

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Iraqi firebrand Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement announced its refusal to join a new government being formed by Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Shia al-Sudani. This is likely to prolong the political instability in the country. The Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement announcement came after the Iraqi Parliament elected Abdul Latif Rashid, a 78-year-old Iraqi Kurd, as Iraq’s new president on 13 October 2022. 

The newly elected President named al-Sudani as prime minister in a bid to end a year of political gridlock in the country since the October 2021 elections.

Mohammad Shia al-Sudani, supported by Iran backed Coordination Framework coalition parties has one month, within which to form a government.

Political instability in Iraq

  • The democratic institutions built in oil-rich Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Dictator Saddam Hussein remain fragile, and neighbouring Iran wields major influence in the Shia majority Iraq. 
  • After the toppling of Saddam Hussein there has been bitter sectarian conflict between the Iraqi populations divided into Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia groups.
  • To tackle the sectarian problem a new power sharing system has been developed in Iraq .The President by convention is Kurdish, the Prime minister a Shiite Arab and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.
  • Iraq has been without a new government since elections last October, when candidates loyal to Mr. Sadr won the single biggest bloc of seats and eclipsed rival Shiite political parties backed by Iran. His relationship with Iran is also not good.
  • Moqtada al-Sadr, who  has the ability to mobilise tens of thousands of his supporters with a single tweet, has repeatedly demanded early elections, while the Coordination Framework wants a new government in place before any polls are held.
  • Tensions between the two rival Shia camps boiled over on August 29 when more than 30 al-Sadr supporters were killed in clashes with Iran-backed factions and the army. 

Republic of Iraq

In ancient times the region where modern Iraq is was known as Mesopotamia (Land between the rivers).

The modern state of Iraq was created in 1921 by Britain.

It gained its independence from Britain in 1932.

It is an Oil rich Arab country and it is the largest supplier of crude oil to India.

Capital: Baghdad

Currency: Iraqi Dinar 

PresidentAbdul Latif Rashid

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