Sadr Threatens Mass Resignations of MPs as Iraq Deadlock Fuels Unrest

Iraqis seemingly have no path to new government

Iraq is in a bad way at the moment, eight months out from an October 10 election and having exhausted the deadlines for forming a new government. There is an irrevocable impasse with no obvious end in sight.

That’s bad for many Iraqis, as economic strife and corruption are leading to calls for government action, and the remnants of the outgoing government lack a mandate to do anything. Iraqis were hoping the new government would do something about food prices, but if there is no new government, nothing gets done.

Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of the largest party in parliament, urged a new election, and now is calling on his 73 MPs to prepare resignation papers outright to try to force the issue.

Sadr’s plurality had the right to try to form the government, but has failed to do so. The only way he could’ve gotten the number of seats needed was unity with the rival Shi’ites, which he was unwilling to do.

The Sadrist Trend ran on an independent anti-corruption position, which made them unnatural allies for many of the longer-serving blocs. As it became clear a government wasn’t forthcoming, they also rejected the idea of abandoning their platform and just allying with anyone for a grand coalition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.