On Saturday, for the second time in a week, supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone as they were protesting the nomination of a new prime minister by Shiite parties close to Iran.
60 protesters were injured in clashes with security forces during the protests, the Iraqi Health Ministry said.
Calling on them to adhere to the peacefulness of their movement and to abide by the directives of the security forces, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the security forces to protect the demonstrators.
Al-Kadhimi said in a statement, “The continuation of the political escalation increases tension in the street and does not serve the public interests.”
“The security forces must, by all legal means, protect official institutions,” he stressed.
Demonstrators from the Sadrist movement headed to the Green Zone, earlier on Saturday.
They managed to break into the party buildings of the National Wisdom Movement headed by Ammar al-Hakim, one of the Shiite political and religious leaders.
A new government has not been formed since early parliamentary elections were held on October 10, 2021, due to political differences.
In a new step towards ending the crisis that has been going on for more than eight months, the “Coordination Framework” alliance chose the 52-year-old Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani as a candidate to head the next government on July 25.
As the protest movement and the Shiite Sadrist movement demanded the nomination of a figure without any governmental history, attitudes regarding al-Sudani’s candidacy were divided between supporters and opponents.