Iraqi Shiite Leader Withdraws From Upcoming Elections

MIN READJul 15, 2021 | 21:43 GMT

A large poster of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is seen in al-Sadr City, Iraq, on July 15, 2021.

(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

By backing out of Iraq’s October parliamentary elections, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is positioning himself as a likely agitator of the next government’s stability and risks handing more votes to allies of Iranian-backed militias. In a televised speech on July 15, al-Sadr announced his “withdrawal from the upcoming elections'' in order to “preserve the rest of the country and to save Iraq which was burnt by the corrupt.” A handful of his political followers have also since said they would boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections....

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