Tensions rise as pro Iran parties turn out supporters to confront Sadarists

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Supporters of the most prominent pro-Iran block in Iraq’s parliament rushed to Baghdad’s Green Zone Monday confronting their political opposition and demanding their preferred candidate for Mohammed Al Sudani be sworn in immediately.

Activists and party officials from Al Sudani’s Coordination Framework said backers of the populist Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr were trampling the country’s constitution by disrupting a legally elected legislature.

Protests spread to cities south of Baghdad, as the Sadarists rallied to stop what they say is a corrupt elite running the Coordination Framework.

They accuse their rivals of looting the country’s oil wealth as millions go without electricity for hours and struggle to find health and educational services.

Meanwhile, Coordination Framework activists picketed the residence of caretaker prime minister Al Kadhimi, saying he was sitting idle as “lawless” Sadrists occupied parliament.

Al Kadhimi has vowed to remain neutral in the stand-off and pleaded for dialogue and restraint by security forces.

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