Moqtada al-Sadr just got done announcing he is withdrawing from direct involvement in Iraqi politics, but he’s not going out quietly, and delivered a major parting shot to the Maliki government.
In his speech today Sadr condemned Maliki as a “tyrant” and a “dictator,” urging his supporters to come out in force in the upcoming elections to back factions other than Maliki’s State of Law.
Sadr went on to say the government was “silencing, deporting and arresting” its rivals, and were labeling opposition figures “terrorists” regardless of what they did. Several members of the Iraqiya Party, the largest in parliament, have been condemned as terrorists, and a large portion of parliament resigned in protest for that.
The Sadrist Front is the largest faction in the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), a Shi’ite religious faction. They and the secular Iraqiya both had major success in the 2010 election, but the US pushed them into a “unity government” with Maliki retaining control, and he reneged on all power-sharing agreements. To this day, Maliki is Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Defense Minister, and chief of the military.
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