A statement by the Supreme Judicial Council accused Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr’s supporters of pressuring the Federal Supreme Court to dissolve Parliament.

Supporters of al Sadr have staged a sit-in outside the gates of the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad.
Supporters of al Sadr have staged a sit-in outside the gates of the Supreme Judicial Council in Baghdad. (AP)

Iraq’s top judicial body has suspended its activities following a sit-in staged by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr.

In a statement, the Supreme Judicial Council said on Tuesday that it decided to suspend all judicial activities after al Sadr’s supporters staged a sit-in outside the gates of the body's Baghdad headquarters to demand the dissolution of Parliament.

The statement accused al Sadr’s supporters of pressuring the Federal Supreme Court to dissolve Parliament, saying it put all judicial activities on hold in protest of such "unconstitutional acts and violations of the law”.

The council held the government and the political party standing behind the demonstration full responsibility for the protest's consequences.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi cut short his current visit to Egypt to attend a five-way Arab summit and returned to Baghdad, according to a statement released by his office.

Al Kadhimi, according to the statement, warned that “disrupting the work of the judicial institution exposes the country to real dangers". 

He stressed that "the right to demonstrate is guaranteed by the constitution, with the need to respect state institutions to continue their work in the service of the people".

READ MORE: Iraq's Sadr vows to continue parliament sit-in until demands met

Political turmoil

Iraq has been in a political deadlock for nine months following general elections last October, which has since failed to agree on a new government between rival parties.

Iraq’s Federal Supreme Council was scheduled to consider a lawsuit demanding the dissolution of Parliament on Tuesday, but the session was postponed to August 30.

On August 14, the Supreme Judicial Council said it does not have the authority to dissolve the Parliament.

READ MORE: Iraqi judiciary ‘has no powers to dissolve parliament'

Source: AA