Hundreds of supporters of populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into Iraq’s parliament on Wednesday (July 27) as the country reached 290 days without a government.
Infighting among Shi’ite and Kurdish groups in particular has prevented the formation of a government, hampering reforms needed as the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict.
More than nine months since an October election, lawmakers tasked with choosing a president and prime minister looked no closer to an agreement, bringing the country to a record 290 days without a head of state or cabinet.
The last longest deadlock was in 2010, when after 289 days Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki got a second term.
The outgoing government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi continues to run the country. If parties cannot agree on a new government, Kadhimi might stay on as caretaker until new elections can be held.
The paralysis has left Iraq without a budget for 2022, holding up spending on much-needed infrastructure projects and economic reform.