January 3rd, 2012
04:01 AM ET

Iraqi lawmakers reconvene amid political turmoil

The crisis-plagued Iraqi Parliament reconvenes Tuesday just over a week after a key Shiite bloc criticized the government and called for early elections.

Iraq is mired in a political crisis that has raised fears of a return of the sectarian bloodshed that nearly tore the country apart during the intensely violent years following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Before lawmakers went on a brief break at the end of last month, the bloc loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for the dissolution of Parliament and early elections.

The political turmoil erupted just days after U.S. troops withdrew from the country and as a fresh round of violence flared in Baghdad.

In an online statement, the head of the Sadrist parliamentary bloc Baha'a al-Araji said Iraq is facing a new era with problems that rob the nation of stability and sovereignty.

The Sadrist bloc serves as a key ally of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite.

Al-Maliki managed to forge a fragile coalition and secure a second term in office because of backing from followers of al-Sadr, the powerful leader of the notorious Mehdi Army that fought some of the fiercest battles against U.S. forces.

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Filed under: Iraq • World
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    SS, DD.

    January 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TORI

    @Banasy, LOl, my thoughts exactly.

    January 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |