Iraq Swears in New MPs to Replace Sadr Resignations

New Shi'ite plurality has 122 seats

Iraq’s parliament met today to progress beyond the resignations of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s political bloc two weeks ago. The 73 MPs resigned, but the matter was only finalized with the parliament recognizing the resignations, and replacing the members with election runner-ups.

The seats went mostly to the Shi’ite Coordination Framework, which is broadly the State of Law bloc of former PM Nouri al-Maliki. They have a 122 MP plurality, and a clear path to governance.

Not that things are likely to be easy. Sadr’s hundreds of thousands of followers are still around, even if they lack MPs, and Sadr’s opposition to the Coordination Framework means they can form a government, but have built-in public opposition waiting for them.

Analysts are already predicting Sadrists in the streets, saying mass protests and internal Shi’ite clashes could result from a Coordination Framework government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.