Baghdad trouble brewing as influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters vowed to hold a million-man march to storm the Iraqi Parliament “again” if the term of the elections commission was extended. In a statement on Monday, the Central Revolution Committee affiliated to Sadr warned the Independent High Electoral Commission’s (IHEC) they had one more chance to elect a new board before they would demonstrate on Parliament. Sadr accuses the current electoral committee of being under the control of the Iraqi government’s ruling parties and holds them responsible for violations in the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government of Iraq on Monday announced new measures to be taken against the Kurdistan Region in retaliation to the referendum on independence, including restoring Federal authority in the disputed territories currently under the KRG’s administration, launching a lawsuit to prosecute state employees in the Kurdistan Region who voted in the Sep. 25 vote, and ordering the headquarters of major telecommunications companies in the Kurdistan Region move to Baghdad and under the Federal Government’s authority.
Lastly, Turkey on Monday urged the United States to reverse a decision to halt the issuing of all regular visas at American consulates in the country, in a row that risks a major crisis. Ministry officials told the diplomat the move was creating “unnecessary escalation and victimization.” The US embassy in Ankara said Sunday it would suspend issuing visas for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.