Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr, protesting against a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister, gather inside Iraq's parliament in the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, on July 31, 2022, a day after storming it. Image Credit: AFP

Baghdad: Hundreds of followers of Iraqi preacher Moqtada Sadr began a second day camped at the country's parliament on Sunday.

Despite tear gas, water cannon and baking temperatures that touched 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit), they stormed the complex on Saturday after pulling down heavy concrete barricades on roads leading to Baghdad's fortified Green Zone of diplomatic and government buildings.

Nearly ten months after October elections, Iraq is still without a new government despite intense negotiations between factions.

Analysts have said Sadr, a mercurial cleric who once led a militia against US and Iraqi government forces, is using street protests to signal that his views must be taken into account in government formation.

The immediate trigger for the occupation was the decision to pick Mohammed Shia al-Sudani for the prime minister's post.

On Sunday morning, the demonstrators marked the month of Muharram, with religious chants and collective meals.

"We were hoping for the best but we got the worst. The politicians currently in parliament have brought us nothing," said one of the protesters, Abdelwahab al-Jaafari, 45, a day labourer with nine children.

Volunteers distributed soup, hard-boiled eggs, bread and water to the protesters.