Iraq: Supporters of Coordination Framework plan to protest in Green Zone

Supporters of Coordination Framework plan to protest in Green Zone of Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 1. Clashes likely. Avoid the area.

The security forces have taken security measures in the vicinity of the Green Zone in Baghdad after concerns of escalation of demonstrations of the Sadrists and the Coordination Framework Forces.

An official source told our reportersthat the roads leading to the Green Zone from Al-Sinak Bridge and the entrance to the Al-Bab Al-Sharqi area from Muhammad Al-Qasim Highway are closed.

The security forces are deployed regularly in the area, and its surroundings and reinforcements arrived at dawn today

The Iraqi street is awaiting what will happen to the situation in the capital, Baghdad, after counter calls from the leader of the Sadrist movement on the one hand and the forces of the Shiite coordination framework, on the other hand, to demonstrate in front of and inside the green walls.

Tensions have worsened since an October election in which al-Sadr’s movement emerged as the biggest bloc with 74 of parliament’s 329 seats.

After failing to overturn the result in the courts, the Iran-backed factions set about stymying al-Sadr’s efforts to form a government that would include his Kurdish and Sunni allies but excludes groups he described as corrupt or loyal to external forces.

Despite their diminished numbers in parliament, the Iran-aligned groups managed to frustrate al-Sadr by denying the two-thirds quorum needed to elect a Kurdish head of state – the first step towards forming a government.

Frustrated at the deadlock, Sadr instructed his lawmakers to quit parliament in June. The move ceded dozens of seats to the Coordination Framework, meaning it could try to form a government of its choosing, though this would risk al-Sadr’s wrath.

Al-Sadr’s rivals then floated a candidate, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, seen by al-Sadr’s supporters as a Maliki loyalist. This step appears to have been the final straw for Sadr supporters, igniting the protests.

In response, the Coordination Framework said it will defend “the legitimacy of the Iraqi state” against Muqtada al-Sadr’s calls to “overthrow the state and constitution,” calling for mass counter-demonstrations today.

In a statement he issued earlier today, al-Sadr, the arch-foe of the Shiite Coordination Framework, instructed his followers to push for a complete overhaul of the political system, including a new constitution, and expel the country’s elites whom he condemned as “corrupt.”


Arab Observer

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