Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Sairoon Coalition was the top vote-getter in May’s national elections. (Photo: Archive)
Mohammed Rashk, a senior member of Sairoon, told Baghdad Today Newson Sunday that Sadr has postponed all talks over the creation of the largest coalition to form the new government.
Rashk said Sadr had previously ordered the suspension of all talks until the demands of the protesters are met; therefore, Sairoon has also put all negotiations with other political parties on hold.
He added that it is not possible to begin political talks and assign posts while Iraqis have legitimate demands that the government must fulfill.
The senior member of Sairoon noted they would only resume talks on the formation of the new government when the people’s demands, including the provision of job opportunities and better services, are met.
In a tweet last week, Sadr called on Iraqi parties to suspend talks over the formation of a new government and address the demands of protesters.
“The winning political parties in the current [May 12] elections should suspend all talks for the formation of coalitions [to establish the new government] until they meet the rightful demands of the protesters,” he wrote.
For three weeks, people have taken to the streets in several provinces in southern Iraq to demand better public services and an end to unemployment.
In response, the Iraqi government imposed strict measures, including blocking access to the internet and social media and deploying the army and counter-terrorism units into provinces where people are protesting.
According to local Iraqi media outlets, so far, at least 12 people have been killed by security forces and over 250 others wounded.
On June 23, Iraq’s parliamentary election winner Sadr and current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that their political blocs would form an alliance.
Earlier this month, Sairoon and Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi’s al-Fatih Coalition, who finished runners-up in the polls, said they had reached an agreement to create the largest alliance in the next Iraqi Parliament.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany