Iraqi Protesters Storm Parliament in Show of Force Against PM Nominee

Protesters condemn Sudani, Maliki as unacceptable

Iraq’s post-election chaos continued Wednesday, with hundreds of supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr storming parliament in a “show of force” and condemning pro-Iran candidate Muhammad al-Sudani.

Sudani had just recently been tapped as the nominee for premiership from the pro-Iran bloc. This followed leaked recordings of previous front-runner Nouri al-Maliki, to whom Sadr followers objected so much they resigned from parliament outright. Ultimately, the bloc seemed to believe Sudani was a compromise candidate.

Protesters were demanding Sudani withdraw his candidacy, while chanting that Maliki was also “garbage” as a potential candidate. Sadr’s followers were chanting general anti-Iran slogans as well.

That’s not a surprise, as Sadr counseled an independent Iraqi government not beholden to any foreign nation, and recent history saw the US and Iran dominating parliaments.

Sadr won  the plurality in the vote but was unable to form a government. His large number of supporters could serve as a spoiler for anyone else, and seems to be headed in that direction.

There is no easy fix to that, as if there was a palatable compromise candidate someone would’ve suggested them already.

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.