KDP leader: the political tension among Shiite forces has peaked

KDP leader: the political tension among Shiite forces has peaked

Shafaq News / The former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari warned of a civil war in Iraq after the political pressure among Shiite parties “has peaked.”

“Civil wars do not happen by leadership decisions. The Kurdish war in 1994 did not start by a decision from leaders Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, but rather, individual and sporadic violent incidents by field commanders were the reason.” The KDP leader said on Twitter.

 “the current political tension among the Shiite forces, the (Shiite Coordination) Framework, and the Sadrist has peaked and must be prevented. Let’s take advantage of the past.” He added.

Rival Iraqi factions took to the streets of Baghdad to call for a new government, with supporters of religious scholar Muqtada al-Sadr demanding early elections and his opponents in the Coordination Framework saying the results of last October’s poll should be honored.

Thousands of al-Sadr’s followers prayed outside parliament on Friday in a show of support for the populist leader, who has called on the judiciary to dissolve parliament by the end of next week.

Hours later, supporters of Iran-backed groups opposed to al-Sadr rallied on the edge of the fortified Green Zone, where parliament and foreign embassies are located, insisting they should form the new government based on the October election.

Followers of al-Sadr stormed the parliament last month and have since been holding a sit-in outside the assembly building in the Iraqi capital.

The rivalry between the two sides shows the deep divisions within Iraq’s Shiite community, which makes up about 60 percent of Iraq’s population of more than 40 million people. 

Al-Sadr, a populist leader with loyalists running top government positions, has been a harsh critic of widespread corruption in the oil-rich country torn by decades of US-led war and subsequent violence, with a crumbling infrastructure, an impoverished majority, and a lack of essential services.

Al-Sadr, whose camp won the most votes in parliamentary elections last October, has not been able to form a majority government. So after eight months of deadlock and jockeying with rival factions, he abandoned those attempts.

Members of al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc resigned, but instead of allowing his rivals — the Coordination Framework — to try and form a government, al-Sadr demanded that parliament be dissolved, and early elections are held.


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