Powerful Iraqi Shia leader and cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has announced his complete retirement from politics.
He justified this on Twitter today with the political standstill in the Gulf state, which has not had a fully functioning government since the parliamentary elections last October. He accused his rival Shia leaders of ignoring his calls for reform.
Sadr announced that he would close his political offices, but some of his religious and cultural institutions would remain open. His party won the October election. However, he failed to form a government to the exclusion of his Iran-backed Shia rivals.
He then withdrew his MPs in June and called for new elections. At the same time, he called for mass protests that culminated in the occupation of parliament. He was so instrumental in exacerbating one of the worst political crises in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003.
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