Hundreds of Iraqi protesters, many of them followers of the Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, have stormed the parliament building in Baghdad.
The protesters, opposed to a rival bloc’s nomination for prime minister, penetrated the capital’s high-security Green Zone, home to government buildings and diplomatic missions on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called on the protesters to “immediately withdraw” from the Green Zone.
He warned in a statement that security forces would see to “the protection of state institutions and foreign missions, and prevent any harm to security and order.
Al-Sadr’s bloc won 73 seats in Iraq’s October 2021 election, making it the largest faction in the 329-seat parliament.
But since the vote, talks to form a new government have stalled t.”.talled.
The protesters oppose the candidacy of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, who is the pro-Iran Coordination Framework’s pick for premier.