Shafaq News/ Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday suspended the work of the government after a group of demonstrators stormed into the government palace.
According to a brief statement by his media office, al-Kadhimi halted the cabinet meetings until further notice after a group of protestors, mainly supporters of the powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, swarmed into the building.
Earlier today, al-Sadr announced he is quitting political life and closing his offices in a move that could further inflame tension in the country.
The statement, published on Twitter on Monday, comes amid protests by his supporters backing his call for the dissolution of the Iraqi parliament, which has seen ten months of deadlock representing the longest Iraq has gone without a government.
“I hereby announce my final withdrawal,” al-Sadr said.
In his statement, al-Sadr attacked his political opponents and said they had not listened to his calls for reform.
The announcement came two days after al-Sadr said "all parties", including his own, should give up government positions in order to help resolve the months-long political crisis, while calling on those who "have been part of the political process" since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003 to "no longer participate".
Al-Sadr's party, the Sadrist Bloc, won the most seats in an October 2021 election, but he ordered his legislators to resign en-masse in June after he failed to form a government of his choosing, which would have excluded powerful Shia rivals close to Iran.
The move, however, handed the sway in parliament to his Iran-backed Shiite opponents, the Coordination Framework.
Many of al-Sadr's supporters have since the end of July been participating in a sit-in outside the Iraqi parliament, after storming the building and stopping al-Sadr's rivals from appointing a new president and prime minister.
Last week, Protests spread to the Supreme Judicial Council, the country's top administrativ,e judicial authority, as al-Sadr called on the judiciary to dissolve parliament. The council said at the time it did not have the authority to dissolve parliament.