The political situation in Iraq has been in turmoil since 2019 with mass protests against corruption, unemployment, and deteriorating public services. The tensions reached their peak after Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iranian religious leader, announced his decision to quit politics. His supporters stormed the Green Zone, and open fired, which has lead to the death of several people. This has led to the Iraq military declaring a curfew in the country. Here’s a timeline of how the situation has panned out:

2021 elections

After mass protests around the country against corruption and deteriorating public services, Iraq holds an election where public turnout is low. Sadr’s movement could not form the government despite bagging the largest number of seats due to non-cooperation from Iran-back Hashed al-Shaabi.

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Assassination attempt on Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi

Hashed members stage a sit-in protest at the Green Zone and one protestor, on November 5, 2021, is shot dead in clashes with security forces. The following day, a drone with explosives is used in an attempt to assassinate PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi. He narrowly escapes.

Vote results and Speaker election

Vote results are declared on November 30 and confirm that the Sadrists have won. The newly formed Parliament declares Mohammed al-Halbussi, a Sunni Muslim, its Speaker, giving rise to further tensions. Coordination Framework, a pro-Iranian political outfit, boycotts the voting.

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No President, Sadrist MPs resign

Three attempts to elect a new president fail. The president is a ceremonial head in Iraq and the post usually goes to a representative of the Kurdish minority.

Following the stalemate, Sadrist MPs, all 73 of them, resign. This is a move to pressurize the opposition into forming a government. Their seats end up going to the candidates who came second in the elections, resulting in the pro-Iranian faction becoming the majority force in the parliament.

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Storming of the parliament

The Iranian parliament is stormed by Sadrists after Shia al-Sudani is chosen as the new prime minister by the Coordination Framework. The Sadrists stage a sit-in for three days, disperse, and again storm the Green Zone. In retaliation, Coordination Framework stage a protest themselves and call for a quick formation of the new government.

Sadr bids adieu 

Sadr boycotts peace negotiations by the caretaker prime minister. The final nail in the coffin came when Sadr announced via Twitter on Monday that he is quitting politics and all outfits related to his movement will be closed.