The announcement creates more headache for prime minister-designate Sudani as he tries to resolve a year-long political deadlock.

The refusal will complicate prime minister-designate Mohammad Shia al Sudani's efforts to end Iraq's political deadlock and form a government capable of commanding a majority in parliament.
The refusal will complicate prime minister-designate Mohammad Shia al Sudani's efforts to end Iraq's political deadlock and form a government capable of commanding a majority in parliament. (AP)

Iraqi Shia politician Muqtada al Sadr's movement has announced its refusal to join a new government being formed by prime minister-designate Mohammad Shia al Sudani.

The announcement came on Saturday two days after lawmakers elected Abdul Latif Rashid as Iraq's new president, and he swiftly named Sudani as prime minister in a bid to end a year of political gridlock since October 2021 elections.

"We stress our firm and clear refusal for any of our affiliates to participate... in this government formation," Mohammed Saleh al Iraqi, a close associate of Sadr, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The statement charged that the upcoming government has a "clear subordination to militias" and would "not meet the (Iraqi) people's aspirations".

He said the Sadrist movement refused to take part in any government led by Sudani "or any other candidate from among the old faces or those affiliated with the corrupt".

"Anyone who joins their ministries does not represent us... rather, we disavow them," Iraqi said.

READ MORE: This is not the end for Iraq’s Sadr

A 30-day deadline

The 52-year-old former minister Sudani has the backing of Iran-aligned Coordination Framework, which controls 138 out of 329 seats in the Iraqi legislature.

In June, Sadr had ordered the 73 lawmakers in his bloc to resign, leaving parliament in the hands of the Framework, which includes representatives of the former paramilitary Hashd al Shaabi.

Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday elected former minister Abdul Latif Rashid as the country's next president, defying threats of further violence following a barrage of rocket attacks earlier in the day. 

The new president swiftly named Sudani as prime minister-designate, tasking him with reconciling feuding Shia factions and forming a government a whole year after Iraq last went to the polls.

When Sudani was first proposed in July, the move sparked mass protests by Sadr's followers, who breached the Green Zone and stormed parliament.

He now has 30 days to form a new government capable of commanding a majority in parliament.

READ MORE: Sadr the Saviour or Sadr the Scourge?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies