Mr. Sadr, however, did not judge the most recent political situation accurately. Since he cannot undo his decision to withdraw from the government and is now an outsider, he has leveraged the option left to him: to send his legions of supporters to halt the creation of a new government and demand reforms and new elections that could once again bring his group power within the government.
“The protesters have issued several demands that I think are dangerous,” Sarmad Al-Bayati, an Iraqi political analyst, said in an interview.
“It might cause excitement among Iraqis; they might even get support from the Tishreen movement,” he said, referring to the thousands of protesters from different backgrounds who came together in October 2019 to demand that the government deal with unemployment, rein in corruption, supply electricity and put an end to the unbridled power of the armed groups linked to Iran. Their protests immobilized city centers from Baghdad to the south of Iraq; more than 500 protesters were killed by security forces and armed groups, and more than 19,000 were wounded, according to the United Nations.
Among the demands that could be a rallying call are: to amend the constitution to change Iraq’s government from a parliamentary to a presidential system; to anoint a caretaker government that is responsible for constitutional changes and agrees to hold early elections; and to hold corrupt officials to account, Mr. Al-Bayati said.
These demands have been enumerated by people close to Mr. Sadr in statements or tweets in recent days.