Iraqi lawmakers from firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc resigned on Sunday, the parliamentary speaker said, a move ostensibly designed to end eight months of political paralysis.

“We have reluctantly accepted the requests of our brothers and sisters, representatives of the al-Sadr bloc, to resign,” parliament’s speaker Mohammed al-Halboussi said on Twitter after receiving resignation letters from the 73 lawmakers.

Al-Sadr on Thursday urged the MPs from his bloc, the biggest in parliament, to ready resignation papers in a bid, he said, to break the parliamentary deadlock and create space for the establishment of a new government.

Parliament in Baghdad has been in turmoil since October’s general election, and intense negotiations among political factions have failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Al Jazeera’s Laura Burdon-Manley reports.

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