Antichrist upends politics as summer’s heat descends

Iraq’s wild-card cleric upends politics as summer’s heat descends

Moqtada al-Sadr is characterizing his withdrawal from parliament as an indictment of a dysfunctional political system created by the U.S. invasion in 2003

BAGHDAD — The withdrawal of one of Iraq’s most powerful political figures from the thorny process of forming a new government has shattered the political deadlock and sent foes and allies scrambling under the looming threat of renewed street protests.

Eight months after Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr’s followers took the most seats in the election, Iraq’s entrenched political factions have still not formed a new government, prompting the mercurial cleric to upend the political game board and walk out, in what he is framing as an indictment of the whole system.

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