Sadr Supporters to Stay at Iraqi Parliament Until Corrupt Officials Gone, Office Says

© AFP 2023 / Sabah Arar Сторонники иракского политика Муктада ас-Садра во время разрушения бетонного заграждения на пути к "Зеленой зоне" в Багдаде
Сторонники иракского политика Муктада ас-Садра во время разрушения бетонного заграждения на пути к Зеленой зоне в Багдаде  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.07.2022
CAIRO (Sputnik) - The supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr who seized the Iraqi parliament building earlier this week will remain there until corrupt officials are driven out of power, Ibrahim Jabri, the head of Sadr's office, told Sputnik on Sunday.
On Saturday, protesters broke into a high-security Baghdad district known as the Green Zone where government buildings and foreign embassies are located and started a sit-in in parliament. Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi ordered security forces to maintain order. The unrest left 125 people injured.
"This is an open strike. This is the will of the Iraqi people who have entered the parliament, [and] declared that until this corrupt group is not driven out of power, people will stay here," Jabri said.
Supporters of Sadr are rallying against the nomination of Mohammed Sudani for the post of prime minister by the Coordination Framework, an Iran-backed alliance of Shiite forces forming the largest bloc in the Iraqi legislature.
Protesters already stormed the parliament once this past Wednesday and agreed to leave only after asked to by Sadr, whose political bloc won the October legislative elections but diverted into opposition in May and stepped down in June after several failed attempts to form a government.
Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr climb over concrete barriers along the Al-Jumhuriya (Republic) bridge that leads to the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, as they protest against a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister, on July 30, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.07.2022
UN Mission in Iraq Expresses Concern About Protests in Baghdad, Calls for End of Violence
Earlier in the day, the EU External Action Service (EEAS) said that the bloc is concerned about the protests in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.
"The EU is concerned about the ongoing protests and their potential escalation in Baghdad. We call on all parties to exercise restraint to prevent further violence," the EEAS said in a statement.
The EU's foreign affairs agency also called for all political forces in Iraq to resort to "constructive political dialogue" to ease tensions.
"We invite political forces to solve issues through a constructive political dialogue within the constitutional framework. While the right to peaceful protest is essential to democracy, laws and state institutions have to be respected," the EEAS added.
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