Iraq calls rival parties to solve political deadlock via dialogue

BAGHDAD: Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the caretaker of Iraqi Prime Minister, has invited rival political parties to a meeting on Wednesday to seek a solution to the political deadlock through a national dialogue.

Al-Kadhimi issued a statement in which he said, "I welcome the leaders of the national political forces to a national gathering at the government palace on Wednesday to begin a national conversation for a resolution to the current political crisis.

According to the caretaker Prime Minister, Iraq is "experiencing political obstacles and a political standstill, coupled with their effects on the performance of the government."

Earlier in the day, he accepted the resignation of Finance Minister Ali Allawi who said "the rampant conflict between the political parties that affected the implementation of reforms" as the reason for resigning.

The invitation from Al-Kadhimi came as political tensions between the influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his adversaries, the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella organisation of Shia parliamentary parties, grew in recent weeks.

On August 3, al-Sadr urged his followers to continue their sit-in protest until their demands to dissolve Parliament and hold early elections are met.

After al-Sadr ordered his supporters in the Sadrist Movement, which won the most seats in the elections conducted on October 10, 2021 with 73, to leave Parliament, the CF emerged as the largest coalition in the Iraqi parliament.

The ongoing disputes among the Shia parties have made it difficult for a new Iraqi administration to be formed during the past few months, preventing it from electing a new president with a two-thirds majority of the 329-seat Parliament as required by the constitution.

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