A large gathering of Muqtada al-Sadr supporters for a prayer session in Baghdad on Friday showed that the Shia leader was not ending his large presence in Iraqi politics, even when he removed his bloc from the Iraqi parliament in june. This move of prayer may be the beginning of a summer of protests.
Protests have been the hallmark of Sadrist politics in Iraq. The leader’s supporters were a part of the Tishreen protest movement in 2019 that lead to the resignation of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in May of 2020. The Sadrists, however, have been unable to form a government even after becoming the biggest bloc in parliament last year. There were mass resignations shortly after this, and their opponents were able to fill the empty seats. However, popular protests can be just as powerful in Iraq as parliamentary politics. A supporter has said they are preparing for large protests in all Iraqi cities and are waiting to learn the timing.