Report: Iraq’s Sadr Backs Dissolving Parliament, Holding Early Elections

October 10 vote remains unresolved

After months of recounts and speculation, and more months of failed deal-making, Iraq’s current parliament looks like it may end in outright failure, with reports that Moqtada al-Sadr now supports dissolving parliament and holding an early election.

Sadr’s party has the biggest plurality in the parliament, but has been unable to get together a president, speaker, and premier. He has ruled out a unity coalition with rival State of Law, and seems to prefer trying his luck with another vote.

In parliamentary systems that’s always an option, and its not uncommon after a failure to build a coalition to just try again with a new vote. Despite this, it would be Iraq’s first time down that road.

That’s not accidental. Elections have been expensive and risked violence since the US occupation, so doing a re-run has basically been seen as no option. Security isn’t perfect now, but it’s at a point where a re-vote is at least plausible.

Several nations have gone down this road, and the real risk is that the next result looks concerningly similar to the last vote, and no one is any closer to forming a government.

This can go on for months or even years with several votes leading to nothing. That’s a danger that scares many off the fresh vote path, though it is a testament to how determined Sadr is that the next Iraqi government won’t include a unity coalition of Shi’ite factions with wildly different agendas.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.