Key Shi’ite Militia Leader Backs Sadr in Iraq PM’s Ouster

Sadr and Amiri dominate the ruling coalition

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi may still believe that the use of anti-terrorism special forces against civilian protesters will keep them from removing him from power, but a political uprising is growing and could rapidly unseat him.

Influential cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been calling for other groups to join him in demanding Abdul Mahdi either come through on promised reforms or resign, saying openly he intends to remove the PM from power if he doesn’t deliver.

Important militia leader and political figure Hadi al-Amiri announced on Tuesday that he intends to work with Sadr, and, combined, those two are in a position to readily impose their will, and collapse the existing coalition government.

Of Iraq’s current 189-seat coalition, Sadr’s Alliance Toward Reform controls 54 seats, and Amiri’s Conquest Alliance has another 48. There is simply no way to replace them if they both withdraw, and Abdul Mahdi was always meant to be a “compromise” candidate, who has little power of his own to maintain control without the strong Shi’ite majority.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.