Powerful Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Iraq’s judiciary on Wednesday to dissolve parliament by the end of next week, threatening vague consequences if it does not do as he says.
The populist leader has helped fuel tensions in Iraq over the past two weeks by ordering thousands of supporters to storm and occupy Parliament, preventing the formation of a government nearly 10 months after the election.
His political opponents, mostly Iranian-backed Shiites, have refused to accede to Sadr’s demands, raising fears of further unrest and violence in Iraq.
The judiciary “should dissolve Parliament by the end of next week…if not, the revolutionaries will take another stand,” Sadr said in a statement on his Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) account, without elaborating.
Sadr has called for early elections and unspecified changes to the constitution after withdrawing his lawmakers from parliament in June.
The withdrawal was a protest at his inability to form a government despite holding almost a quarter of Parliament and having enough allies to make up more than half of the chamber.
Sadr blames Iran-aligned parties for the failure to form a government and accuses them of corruption, but his supporters also control some of the worst-run government departments.