Iraq: Sunni, Kurdish parties hold off talks to persuade Sadr to return to parliament
Sunni political factions in Iraq will postpone discussions on recent developments in the country’s political crisis to persuade a main Shia figure to backtrack on a recent decision which saw his party resign from parliament.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party and other blocs were scheduled to hold talks and meetings to announce their positions going forward, but wanted to give more time for negotiations.
Parliament in Baghdad has been in turmoil since October's legislative election, and intense negotiations among political factions have failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The crisis took a new turn after Iraqi lawmakers from firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc resigned a week ago, in a move ostensibly designed to up pressure to end an eight-month political paralysis.
Sources close to Sadr told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the cleric’s office will not receive any guests at the present time as he reportedly plans on visiting Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The same sources indicated that mediation to persuade Sadr to backtrack on his decision to exit the political process did not produce any tangible progress.
Pro-Iranian factions have announced that they will go ahead with the cabinet formation without the Sadrist Movement’s participation. They have claimed that the elections were unfair and continuously protested the results after facing a major loss in the Iraqi legislator.