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Iraq’s Muqtada Sadr Reverses Decision about Participating in General Election
By Staff, Agencies
Iraqi cleric Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr said on Friday that he and his supporters would take part in an October general election, reversing a decision last month to stay out.
Sadr's bloc is part of a coalition that holds the most seats in parliament now, and is likely to be one of the frontrunners in the vote, which was called early by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi as a response to popular protests from 2019.
The cleric said in a televised address that the about-face came after a number of political leaders, whom he did not identify, had written to him with a "charter for reform" to rid Iraq of corruption and mismanagement.
He urged supporters to go to the polls and vote in the early election scheduled for Oct. 10. A vote for his movement, Sadr said, would mean an Iraq liberated from foreign meddling and rampant graft.
"We will enter these elections with vigor and determination, in order to save Iraq from occupation and corruption," he added.
Sadr loyalists hold official posts with control of a large portion of the country's wealth and patronage networks. Detractors accuse Sadr and his supporters, like other Iraqi parties, of being involved in corruption within state institutions - a charge Sadrists reject.
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