Iraqi PM Threatens To Quit As Political Crisis Deepens
Iraq–The prime minister of Iraq, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, has threatened to quit if the complicated political stand-off in the country remains. He reportedly said he will “vacate his post” after violence in Baghdad’s Green Zone killed at least 30 people and injured 200 people. He further said, “I warn against those who continue to sow the seeds of chaos, conflict and infighting, and who refuse to listen to the voice of reason.”
The Iraqi PM slammed those who use violence against other people. He said, “I will take the patriotic decision to vacate my position according to Article 81 of the Constitution and hold them accountable to the Iraqi people.”
Reportedly, he also formed a committee to punish people who shot at the demonstrators and shed blood. He also issued the order to prohibit the use of live ammunition. Protests erupted in Baghdad’s Green Zone on Monday after Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said that he was withdrawing from political life. Protesters broke into the government headquarters. Subsequently, al-Kadhimi suspended cabinet sessions until further notice.
On Tuesday, Iraqi President, Barham Salih, said that early elections might resolve the political stand-off in the country. He reportedly said, “Holding early elections following a national consensus represents an exit from the stifling crisis.” He also praised al Sadr’s efforts to end the violence.
Al Sadr was the winner in the elections held last October in Iraq. However, he failed to form a government with Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties, excluding the Iran-backed Shiite groups. This year in June, Al-Sadr’s bloc resigned en masse because of the political dispute over the formation of a government. He also called for early elections.
Since last October, Iraq has struggled to form a new government. A political deadlock remains over the establishment of a new government.