BAGHDAD, April 23 (Xinhua) — Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Monday called for the people of Iraq to actively participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections to rid the country of corruption.
Sadr followers are taking part in the competition for the parliament seats under a political party known as Istiqama, or Integrity Patriotic Party (IPP), headed by former lawmaker Jaafar al-Musawi.
IPP joined umbrella coalition under the name of Sa’iroun, which includes some smaller political groups, in addition to the Iraqi Communist Party.
Sadr followers held many massive rallies in the past few years. In one occasion, the protestors broke into part of the Green Zone, including storming the parliament building.
The popular protests forced Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to make some reforms, which first gained popular support, but with the passing of time the reforms fell short to convince demonstrators.
The vote of parliamentary election will be held on May 12, as 6,986 candidates will compete for the 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
This will be the first general election since Iraq’s historical victory over the Islamic State group in December last year.
Iraq’s previous general election was held on April 30, 2014, when the Iraqis elected 328 lawmakers for the parliament.