Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says he’s quitting politics in bombshell announcement

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Influential Iraqi Shi’ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr on Monday took to Twitter to announce his full withdrawal from political life. The move was surprising for many as his protesters have been blocking parliament for weeks now.

“I’ve decided not to meddle in political affairs. I, therefore, announce now my definitive retirement,” read Sadr’s tweet where he also announced that he was shutting his political offices and institutions in the country, following an unsalvagable political deadlock.

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As reported extensively by WION, Sadr and his legion of supporters have been on the streets of Iraq, protesting for months and batting for the dissolution of the parliament.

Reportedly, in the October parliamentary election last year, Sadr’s supporters had won the most seats. However, they were unable to form a government and since then, the country has been in a deadlock.

Moreover, Sadr calling for the resignation en-masse of his parliamentary bloc has provided the initiative to his Iran-backed Shia opponents, the Coordination Framework Alliance.

Read more: ‘Dissolve the parliament’: Influential Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr calls for fresh elections in Iraq

To correct the course, earlier this month, thousands of followers of Sadr stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone. unkindwhile, another faction took over the parliament building to prevent his opponents from forming a government. 

Sadr counts millions of Iraqis among his followers and has shown he can still stir up gatherings by hundreds of thousands of supporters, mostly working-class Shi’ite Muslims if he needs to exert political pressure.

Read more: Sadr followers hold mass prayer outside Iraqi parliament in show of force

(This is a developing story. More updates to follow)

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