Iraqi Political Rivals Meet in Effort to End Impasse in Forming Government

Rival Iraqi political leaders met on Wednesday in an attempt to find a way out of a 10-month impasse over forming a new government.

This comes amid fears that the current stand-off could turn violent, as tension runs high between opposing political blocs.

However, the Sadrist Movement, a major political group sponsored by Shiite cleric and political leader Moqtada Al Sadr, had said it would not take part in the meeting.

Followers of Mr Al Sadr last month breached Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, occupied the parliament building and staged a sit-in.

Iraq held early elections on October 10 in response to one of the core demands of a nationwide, pro-reform protest movement that erupted in 2019 in central and southern parts of the country.

The elections were the fifth parliamentary vote for a full-term government since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Since then, bitter rivalry among political elites, mainly among the country’s majority Shiites, has delayed the process of forming a government. With the Shiites divided, there are fears that Iraq could slide into intra-sectarian strife.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi invited political leaders to attend a national dialogue at the government palace in the Green Zone on Wednesday.


Arab Observer

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