October demonstrators mobilize for mass protests in Baghdad next Friday

October demonstrators mobilize for mass protests in Baghdad next Friday

Shafaq News/ Anti-establishment groups in Iraq on Sunday called for mass protests against the country's status quo forces next Friday in Baghdad amid calls by the Sadrist movement for a reboot of the political process sans classic powers.

In a statement issued earlier this morning, "Iraq's protestors" cast doubts on the "verbal initiatives" adopting "radical change" in the country's polity but do not explain how it will achieve this quest.

"However, to reiterate our commitment to the radical change we have always called for, we will hit the streets next Friday," the statement said.

"During these days, a roadmap with clear directions toward safety will be laid, but it will be exclusively announced during the protest," it added.

The statement urged the "the silent majority" to gather in al-Nosour (Eagles square) downtown the Iraqi capital next Friday at 0500 pm (Baghdad time).

Yesterday, the populist Shiite clergyman Muqtada al-Sadr said that "all parties", including his own, should give up government positions to help resolve a months-long political crisis.

Since the US-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq has been governed under a power-sharing system.

But a political deadlock that began after the October election last year has left the country without a new government, prime minister, or president due to disagreement between groups over forming a coalition.

Al-Sadr and his supporters have been calling for parliament to be dissolved and for new elections, but on Saturday he said doing so was not "so important".

Instead, it is "more important" that "all parties and figures who have been part of the political process from the American occupation in 2003 until now no longer participate," Mohammad Saleh al-Iraqi, who runs a Twitter account named "the leader's advisor" and is widely believed to be al-Sadr's mouthpiece, tweeted quoting al-Sadr himself.

"That includes the Sadrist movement," he added.

"I am ready to sign an agreement to this effect within 72 hours," he said, warning that without such a move, "there would be room for reforms any longer."

Al-Sadr's followers have for weeks been staging a sit-in outside Iraq's parliament, after initially storming the legislature's interior, to press for their demands.

On Tuesday, they also pitched tents outside the judicial body's headquarters in Baghdad for several hours.

The Sadrist movement's rivals in the Coordination Framework want a new head of government to be appointed before any new polls are held.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi earlier this month convened crisis talks with party leaders, but they were boycotted by the Sadrists.

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