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Middle east

Iraq's Sadrists call for early elections

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-26

The bloc loyal to anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for parliament to be dissolved and early elections to be held, the latest move in a political standoff that has stoked sectarian tensions.

AFP - The bloc loyal to anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Monday for the dissolution of parliament and early elections, the latest step in a political standoff that has stoked sectarian tensions.

The movement's parliamentary chief Baha al-Araji said in a statement that his bloc in Iraq's Council of Representatives wanted to "dissolve parliament and repeat elections."

An official at the movement's headquarters in the southern holy city of Najaf said Araji's remark "represents all of the bloc, and it represents the opinion of the bloc."

The call for early elections, after the last vote in March 2010, comes amid a political standoff that has seen Iraqi authorities issue an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran a death squad, and Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki call for his Sunni deputy to be fired.

Hashemi's Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc has boycotted parliament and cabinet and the vice president denies the allegations against him.

Date created : 2011-12-26

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