Senior Iraqi Shia cleric calls for formation of 'national majority' government

Muqtada al-Sadr's political movement secured over 70 seats in the 329-seat Iraqi legislature, according to early results announced by the embattled nation's electoral commission.
The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr. (Photo: Archive)
The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – His party having secured the highest number of seats in the latest Iraqi parliamentary election, mercurial Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday called for the formation of what he called a "national majority" government.

He also asserted that he is not "ruling out" becoming opposition in the legislature.

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"It is not that I have a disagreement with the political blocs except for the issue of internal and external reform, and the issue of the difference between patriotism and subordination," Sadr said in a statement.

"I believe that the first thing that should be done in the future for the homeland is a national majority government," He added. Sadr's political alliance won the largest number of parliamentary seats in the national election, held on Oct. 10, 2021.

Read More: Muqtada al-Sadr calls for full acceptance of Iraqi election result

The self-styled populist cleric outlined that the legislature should have a "loyalist side," which would form government and take on reforming Iraq's institutions, and an "opposition side," which would serve a consultative role and it must not be "marginalized."

"We do not mind being on either side. Both of them would serve the country."

The statement came days after Sadr said on Friday that he would shutter various local headquarters of the militia he commands across the embattled nation with the exception of four in which he holds considerable influence.

Read More: Iraqi cleric al-Sadr to close his militia's headquarters in all but 4 provinces