Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announces permanent retirement from political life

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech to his supporters following Friday prayers at the grand mosque of Kufa, on May 3, 2019. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Powerful Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced permanent retirement from political life, according to a statement on Monday.

Sadr in a statement announced permanent retirement from his political career and decided to shut down all institutions that belong to his party, the Sadrist movement.

“I have never desired to lead, but my only aim was to correct the false path that the Shiite parties have created because they are the majority,” He said.

His resignation from politics came in a series of withdrawal movements which first started from the government formation process in Iraq, and later in June, he directed his lawmakers to resign from the Iraqi parliament, saying Iraqi politics is corrupt.

In his final move after months of an unprecedented deadlock over government formation since an election in October, Sadr has declared permanent retirement from political life.

The current impasse between Sadr and Shi’ite rivals has given Iraq its longest run without a government.

Monday’s announcement raised fears that Sadr’s supporters might escalate their protests without their leader to closely control them, which could further destabilize Iraq.

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