Baghdad has declared a state of emergency after protesters stormed the Green Zone and parliament building in the past 24 hours.

Hundreds of mostly Shia protesters forced their way into the parliament building as public dissent grows over the inability of Iraqi MPs to approve a new cabinet.

A new cabinet put forward by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in April, was vetoed with Iraq’s sectarian leaders rejecting Al-Abadi’s attempt to form a more technocratic government.

Since the US invasion in 2003, key government posts have been based on political and sectarian quotas, which the demonstrators want to end. Al-Abadi’s move to change the system has been opposed by powerful political parties that rely on control of ministries for patronage and funds.

Both Washington and the UN have said the political crisis could negatively impact the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis).

On 30 April, a bomb targeting Shia pilgrims near Baghdad killed at least 23 people. Isis later claimed responsibility for the attack. Read more