A political crisis is unfolding in Iraq and this deadlock just took an extremely violent turn recently.
On 29th August, clashes between two groups ended up killing at least 24 people and injuring another 200 in Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq.
Iraq has failed to form a government ever since the October 2021 parliamentary elections.
In the elections, Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc had won the most number of seats. But they failed to form a majority.
Sadr entered into a coalition with two parties and together they had an absolute majority in the House. However, they were not able to stake a claim to form the government.
The Iraqi Constitution requires a new Parliament to pick a President first, who then asks the winning bloc to choose a Prime Minister. For the Presidential election, two-thirds of the representatives should be present in the House.
The opposition, including the Sadrist Movement and the Shia Coordination Framework, started to boycott the Presidential votes.
In protest, Sadr asked all the 73 legislators of the Sadrist Movement to resign in June.
With Sadr’s group out, the opposition which had the second-highest number of votes, jumped in to form the government. In response, Sadr called for protests in the streets.
Protestors have stormed the Parliament building in Baghdad’s Green Zone several times. They demand the dissolution of Parliament, early elections and Constitutional amendments.
On August 29th, the supporters of Sadr stormed the Republican Palace and fought the security personnel with mortars and grenades.
This came after Sadr announced that he was quitting politics amid a political deadlock