Al-Sadr Supporters To Resume Demonstrations September

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Salam Zidane – Yalla Baghdad

The Sadrist Movement will resume protests at the beginning of next month, demanding reform of the political system and the formation of a technocrat government. It will mark the end of a one month cessation of protests demanded by leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

The involvement of the Sadrist Movement in previous demonstration resulted in civilian movements splitting to form ‘Madanyoon’ [Civilians] which refuses to allow the presence of al-Sadr followers in Liberation Square in the centre of Baghdad.

“Muqtada al-Sadr stopped the demonstrations for an entire month with the objective of allowing others the chance to demonstrate and demand reforms,” Jaafar al-Musawi, deputy head of the political bureau of the Sadrist Movement said.

“In the beginning, the demonstrations put significant pressure on the government and the parliament, and they started to answer to demonstrators regarding the formation of a technocrat government.”

He claims political blocs ignored the demands of the protesters once the demonstrations ended, using the quotas system which has created a stalemate. Whether Sadrists resume demonstrating is a decision for Muqtada al-Sadr, according to al-Musawi.

“Our leader explicitly asked his followers to postpone demonstrating for an entire month so that the Iraqi nation could protest and demand reforms,” Munadhil al-Musawi, a member of the Sadrist Movement told Yalla.

“The current demonstrations by Iraqis without Sadrists confirm that we aren’t the only group demanding reforms, it’s the demand of the nation.”

He explained that the Sadrist Movement will resume demonstrations after the end of the one month, insisting that protesting is a democratic practice to which all the governmental and legislative institutions have to answer.

“The demands of the Sadrist Movement consist of holding the corrupt to account, bringing them to justice, and forming a technocrat government,” he added.

“The public gives power to responsible individuals to expose the corrupt, and this is what happened when the Minister of Defence Khaled al-Obaidi revealed corruption during his parliamentary examination.”

Yalla also spoke with Jasim al-Halfi, of the Communist Party. “The civilian movements are still protesting for reforms to the political system, holding the corrupt to account, and returning stolen money to the treasury. However, the absence of the Sadrist Movement supporters has affected the size,” al-Halfi said.

“There isn’t any serious objection to the participation of Sadrists supporters, and Muqtada al-Sadr gave an opportunity to those who wish to protest but refuse to do so because of the presence of his supporters. Al-Sadr promised the return of his followers to demonstrations at the end of the one-month period.”

Al-Halfi claims the government hasn’t responded to the demands of the public, but the national movement alerted people to corruption, and that those involved must be held to account.

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