BAGHDAD, (Xinhua): Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday announced that he is leaving political life and closed his offices in order to stop the “evil acts” by some people under the name of his Sadr family.
“I announce that I do not intervene in public political affairs, and there is no bloc would represent us anymore, nor any position inside and outside the government and the parliament,” Sadr said in a statement posted in his official website.
The statement also said that Sadr has closed all of his political offices except for some charities and said that “no one has the right to represent and speak on their behalf and under their title.”
According to the statement, Sadr’s surprise decision came to ” protect his family’s name, and to end all evil acts that occurred and likely to occur under the name of our family or under the name of our offices.”
Sadr’s move would have some impacts on the political process as his parliamentary bloc al-Ahrar and his allied politicians would lose their religious legitimacy after Sadr’s withdrawal.
Sadr also known of his stance to reject Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki’s efforts to seek a third term in his post after the coming April 30 national elections. His withdrawal could be useful for Maliki’s ambition.
Moqtada al-Sadr, 40, is the son of a prominent Shiite leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, who was murdered presumably by the regime of Saddam Hussein in 1999.
Succeeding his father’s career, al-Sadr became the head of the al-Sadr group. He was also enrolled at the Najaf Hawza Seminary and then in Iran’s Qum Hawza Seminary.
After the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, al-Sadr and his supporters took control of Saddam City, a Shiite slum in Baghdad, and renamed it as Sadr City in memory of his father.