The decision came after supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr stormed the parliament building inside Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" for the second time in three days.

The demonstrators were protesting against the formation of the next government by Iran-backed parties, months after elections that failed to lead to formation of a government.
The demonstrators were protesting against the formation of the next government by Iran-backed parties, months after elections that failed to lead to formation of a government. (AP)

Sessions of the Iraqi Parliament have been suspended until a second decision due to the actions of the supporters of the Sadr Movement in the parliament building. 

The announcement came from Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al Halbusi in a written statement published in the Iraqi official agency INA on Saturday.

Halbusi stated that the country is going through difficult and sensitive times, and that disagreements between views and even between political segments are a normal situation in democratically-based developed countries.

Emphasising that the solution is dialogue no matter the size of the disagreements, Halbusi called on all political parties to prioritise the interests of the state, also urging peaceful action and protection of state property. 

Earlier on Saturday, supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr stormed the parliament building inside Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" for the second time in three days, preventing an expected parliament session from taking place.

The demonstrators were seen waving Iraqi flags and pictures of Sadr inside the legislature as thousands protested outside amid a deep political crisis that has left Iraq without a government since October elections.

READ MORE: Muqtada al Sadr's supporters storm Iraq's parliamentary building

Crisis deepens

One by one, demonstrators used ropes to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of the "Green Zone", which houses official buildings and foreign embassies. Security forces used tear gas and sound bombs to try to repel the demonstrators.

Supporters of the Shia cleric oppose the recently announced candidacy of Mohammed al Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, who is the pro-Iran Coordination Framework's pick for premier.

The protests against the formation of the next government by Iran-backed parties are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and a socioeconomic crisis despite elevated global crude prices.

By convention, the post of prime minister goes to a leader from Iraq's Shia majority.

Sadr, a former militia leader, had initially supported the idea of a "majority government". That would have sent his Shia adversaries from the pro-Iran Coordination Framework into opposition.

Sadr's bloc emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction, but was still far short of a majority. And 10 months on, deadlock persists over the establishment of a new government.

Last month, Sadr's 73 lawmakers quit in a move seen as seeking to pressure his rivals to fast-track the establishment of a government. Sixty-four new lawmakers were sworn in later in June, making the pro-Iran bloc the largest in parliament.

That triggered the fury of Sadr's supporters, who according to a security source also ransacked the Baghdad office of Maliki's Daawa party on Friday night, as well as that of the Hikma movement of Ammar al Hakim which is a part of the Coordination Framework.

READ MORE: Sadr the Saviour or Sadr the Scourge?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies