Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called Wednesday for dissolving Iraq’s Parliament and holding early elections.
“There will be no place for old faces anymore through a peaceful, revolutionary and democratic process and [holding] early democratic polls after dissolving the current Parliament,” al-Sadr said in a televised speech.
The influential leader ruled out dialogue with the Coordination Framework, a coalition of groups close to Iran.
“There is no use in holding dialogue with them,” he said.
The Shia cleric called on his supporters to continue their sit-in in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government offices and a number of foreign embassies, until their demands are met.
Tension escalated across Iraq since last week following the nomination of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as a new prime minister by the Coordination Framework, a move that triggered protests from al-Sadr’s supporters.
Iraq has been in a political deadlock for nine months following the country’s general elections last October, which failed since then to agree on a new government between the rival parties.