October 10, 2021
Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on 18 November 2021. [Karar Essa – Anadolu Agency]November 26, 2021 at 2:06 pm
Al-Sadr, whose bloc won a majority of votes in the parliamentary elections held last month, said during a meeting with independent candidates, that he prefers to join the opposition than enter into any coalition government.
He stressed that his movement “does not receive orders from behind the borders”, in reference to regional countries that influence Iraq’s internal politics including Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“Some parties seek to win over the independents, either by tempting or intimidating them, because they do not have a militia or an armed wing,” Al-Sadr said.
He added that “there are those who assault” independent candidates in order to get them out of the elections and replace them. While some will kill to achieve their aim of getting into power, Al-Sadr said.
Last week, aA-Sadr called on the armed Iraqi Shia factions loyal to Iran to dissolve themselves if they want to join his government, and to hand over their weapons to the government’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), through the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.