Iraq is now in the eighth month of a political crisis triggered by the attempt of a Shi’a leader, Moqtada Sadr, to shatter the political paradigm that has prevailed since the second Gulf War. 

This prolonged confrontation between a radical preacher, his Sunni and Kurdish tactical allies, and the rest of Iraq’s political parties — which reached a crescendo last week when he and his allies quit the parliament — threatens to tear the country apart.

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The October 10 election in Iraq saw Moqtada al-Sadr’s party win a plurality of 73 seats. All deadlines have passed, and Sadr failed to form a government. This weekend, all 73 MPs resigned, recognizing the stalemate. What happens next is the real question.

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Iraq is in a bad way at the moment, eight months out from an October 10 election and having exhausted the deadlines for forming a new government. There is an irrevocable impasse with no obvious end in sight.

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Eight months after national elections, Iraq still doesn’t have a government and there seems to be no clear way out of the dangerous deadlock.

Political elites are embroiled in cutthroat competition for power, even as the country faces growing challenges, including an impending food crisis resulting from severe drought and the war in Ukraine.

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