Sadr Rejects Revote, Says Iraqis Must Unite to Avoid Civil War

Says some parties are trying to drag country into infighting

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc won the May 12 election, is rejecting calls by other factions to hold a re-run of the vote, saying certain factions are trying to start a civil war with all the allegations around the elections.

Moqtada al-Sadr

Sadr warned it was “time to stand as one for building and reconstruction instead of burning ballot boxes or repeating election just for one seat or two.” Some of the re-vote advocates, like the parliament speaker, lost their seats in the election.

The election’s votes were initially counted electronically, and parliament has since called for a full recount. The fire in Baghdad, at one of the ballot warehouses, has fueled even more claims of a cover-up of the results.

Recounts, the firing of the commission, the burning of the warehouse, and the legal challenges by the commission all look to drag on post-election wrangling before a coalition negotiation can really begin in earnest.

Sadr’s warnings about a civil war may be accurate, as the political blocs are growing increasingly distant from one another as the effort drags on, and the longer it lasts, the harder it will be for them to come back together afterwards to form a government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.