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Protesters Camp At Iraqi Parliament For Second Consecutive Day

On Sunday, hundreds of supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr set up camp outside the country’s legislature for a second day.

After tearing down large concrete barricades on highways leading to Baghdad’s guarded Green Zone of diplomatic and administrative buildings, they stormed the complex on Saturday in spite of tear gas, water cannons, and searing temperatures that reached 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit).

Despite ongoing negotiations between factions, Iraq remains without a new government nearly ten months after the elections in October.

Al-Sadr, a volatile cleric who once headed a militia against US and Iraqi government forces, is reportedly utilizing street rallies to indicate that his opinions must be taken into consideration when a government is formed.

The selection of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani for the position of prime minister by a rival Shia bloc that is pro-Iran served as the initial catalyst for the occupation.

The protesters celebrated the Shia holiday of Muharram, which falls during the Muslim month of Ramadan, on Sunday morning with communal meals and religious chants.

“We were hoping for the best but we got the worst. The politicians currently in parliament have brought us nothing,” said one of the protesters, Abdelwahab al-Jaafari, 45, a day laborer with nine children.

Volunteers gave the demonstrators soup, hard-boiled eggs, bread, and water.

READ MORE: Iran Rises Drones Production

Some people had laid down blankets on the marble floors of the air-conditioned, former dictator Saddam Hussein building as they spent the night there.

Others settled in the gardens, perched beneath palm trees on plastic mats.

Since Hussein was overthrown in a 2003 US-led invasion, complicated talks have gone into the construction of the Iraqi government, which is multi-confessional and multi-ethnic.

Al-coalition Sadr’s won the most seats in parliament after the October elections, although it fell far short of a majority.

In an effort to break the impasse over the formation of a new administration, 73 of his members resigned in June.

As a result, a pro-Iran coalition gained the majority in parliament, but no new prime minister, president, or cabinet was chosen.

Al-supporters Sadr’s entered the legislative chamber for the second time in a few days with the occupation that started on Saturday.

The protests are the most recent obstacle for a nation struggling to recover from decades of war while also dealing with the effects of climate change.

Iraq remains constrained by corruption, unemployment, and other issues despite its oil wealth and high global crude prices, which triggered a youth-led protest movement in 2019.

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Adoga Stephen
Adoga Stephen is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (then Laspotech) and acquired requisite skills for the practice of journalism, a profession he has been practicing since 2016.

On Sunday, hundreds of supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr set up camp outside the country’s legislature for a second day.

After tearing down large concrete barricades on highways leading to Baghdad’s guarded Green Zone of diplomatic and administrative buildings, they stormed the complex on Saturday in spite of tear gas, water cannons, and searing temperatures that reached 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit).

Despite ongoing negotiations between factions, Iraq remains without a new government nearly ten months after the elections in October.

Al-Sadr, a volatile cleric who once headed a militia against US and Iraqi government forces, is reportedly utilizing street rallies to indicate that his opinions must be taken into consideration when a government is formed.

The selection of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani for the position of prime minister by a rival Shia bloc that is pro-Iran served as the initial catalyst for the occupation.

The protesters celebrated the Shia holiday of Muharram, which falls during the Muslim month of Ramadan, on Sunday morning with communal meals and religious chants.

“We were hoping for the best but we got the worst. The politicians currently in parliament have brought us nothing,” said one of the protesters, Abdelwahab al-Jaafari, 45, a day laborer with nine children.

Volunteers gave the demonstrators soup, hard-boiled eggs, bread, and water.

READ MORE: Iran Rises Drones Production

Some people had laid down blankets on the marble floors of the air-conditioned, former dictator Saddam Hussein building as they spent the night there.

Others settled in the gardens, perched beneath palm trees on plastic mats.

Since Hussein was overthrown in a 2003 US-led invasion, complicated talks have gone into the construction of the Iraqi government, which is multi-confessional and multi-ethnic.

Al-coalition Sadr’s won the most seats in parliament after the October elections, although it fell far short of a majority.

In an effort to break the impasse over the formation of a new administration, 73 of his members resigned in June.

As a result, a pro-Iran coalition gained the majority in parliament, but no new prime minister, president, or cabinet was chosen.

Al-supporters Sadr’s entered the legislative chamber for the second time in a few days with the occupation that started on Saturday.

The protests are the most recent obstacle for a nation struggling to recover from decades of war while also dealing with the effects of climate change.

Iraq remains constrained by corruption, unemployment, and other issues despite its oil wealth and high global crude prices, which triggered a youth-led protest movement in 2019.

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