Powerful Iraqi Shia political figurehead and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced on Thursday that he will not be participating in the country’s 10 October elections.
Sadr also revealed that he will no longer be backing Iraq’s present government or its coming one, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported.
This is a departure from past views expressed by the electoral force he heads, the Sadrist Movement, which, together with its Alliance Towards Reforms partners, won 54 seats in the 2018 parliamentary election – more than any other grouping.
Sadr explained during a speech: “To preserve what remains of the country, which the corrupt have burned and are still burning, I am announcing that I will not participate in the coming elections.
“And, I announce the withdrawal of my hand [support] from those belonging to this current government and the subsequent one, even if they claim to belong to us, the al-Sadr family.”
Prior to this, his faction had referred more than once to its “entitlement” to the presidency of the coming government.
It had stated it was readying itself for the October poll ahead of acceding to this role.
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