Since the resignation of the Sadrist movement’s representatives last June, which is the only collective resignation of members of an Iraqi parliamentary bloc since 2003, it seems that the Iraqi political scene is only heading towards more complexity, although the resignation was understood by many observers as giving way to Sadr’s biggest rivals, The Shiite forces’ coordination framework bloc, to pass their candidate for prime minister.
During the nomination process, the same framework went through many difficulties, which led to the announcement of its leader, Hadi al-Amiri, withdrew his candidacy for prime minister, and then the leader and former Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, followed him, after the spread of audio recordings that touched on sensitive topics, which were attributed to him.
Just two days after the coordination framework nominated the former minister and its leader, Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani, to head the government, demonstrators affiliated with the Sadr movement stormed the Iraqi parliament building, turning the discussion – according to Iraqi political analyst Ahmed Al-Zubaidi “from the personality of the candidate to the government to the possibility of not forming a government in the first place.”
The “Shiite-Shiite” confrontation
Al-Zubaidi told Al-Hurra that “the current situation is very dangerous, as the Sadrists and the Tirema share a very large part of the popular base in Baghdad and the south, and the Tire and the Sadrist bloc have tens of thousands of loyal militants, and any escalation that leads to an armed conflict may not end easily.” .
The two blocs compete mainly for the votes of the Iraqi Shiites, who are the majority of the Iraqi population, from whom all the Iraqi prime ministers were nominated after 2003, and they had – by virtue of the majority of votes in Parliament – the final say often regarding the legal legislation according to which the country is run, and they also own – according to Al-Zubaidi. – “The majority of Iraqi state positions, according to the principle of consensus and the division of positions.”
Al-Zubaidi says, “Determining the largest bloc and controlling the position of prime minister gives the winning bloc a tremendous advantage, and it does not seem that the two parties to the conflict are ready to give up this advantage in favor of either of them.”
He added, “This is worrying, because the division is usually easy, as the blocs exchange positions according to electoral benefits, but the desire of one or two blocs to take possession of everything, may indicate that the next stage will be different, and that the blocs are considering redrawing the scene completely.”
And on Monday, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi called for “not to be drawn into accusations, the language of treason, and the erection of hostility and hatred between the Brotherhood in the one country.”
Al-Kazemi said in a statement that the political congestion “may portend – God forbid, if sane people do not interfere – with dire consequences,” calling on “all parties to calm down and reduce escalation, to start an initiative for a solution on national grounds” and “to sit at the table of a national dialogue, to reach a conclusion.” A political solution to the current crisis,” and the formation of a “committee comprising representatives of all parties to draw up a road map for the solution.”
Al-Kazemi also called on the demonstrators to “evacuate state institutions”, and the security forces to “defend public and private properties and official institutions.”
Soon, the two leaders in the coordination framework, Ammar al-Hakim, and former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, responded to Al-Kazemi’s call and announced their support for it.
What does the chest want?
Prior to the resignation of his deputies, al-Sadr tried to form a parliamentary majority that would allow him to appoint a prime minister, with the help of his allies from the Taqaddam bloc – the bloc of current parliament speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi – and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq).
Al-Sadr actually succeeded in appointing Al-Halbousi, but the session to elect a new president of the republic – who was supposed to be from the Democratic bloc – was obstructed due to what was known at the time as the “blocking parliamentary third”, which is an alliance of the framework’s deputies in addition to the representatives of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan – the party of the current president of the republic. Barham Salih.
The Iraqi political analyst, Iyad al-Anbar, says that “any second candidate that the framework can nominate can be objected to by al-Sadr, who is now trying hard to be an obstacle – from outside parliament to form a government, as the blocking third from within parliament obstructed it.”
Al-Anbar and other observers believe that Al-Sadr is benefiting from the demonstrations, as it is the “strongest card” after his exit from Parliament.
Al-Anbar added to Al-Hurra that “there is a possibility that Al-Sadr was planning this step, to turn against the authority from outside the authority, as always his positions when he tries to rebel and break the consensus that is agreed upon.”
Al-Sadr said that the recent demonstrations are the “golden” opportunity to change the constitution and “the system,” and warned against “missing this opportunity.”
It also aims, according to Amber, to “weaken the authority of [الخصوم]The traditionalists, specifically Al-Maliki, who he believes is the main obstacle to the Sadrist government project.
Jassim al-Halfi, a leader in the Iraqi Communist Party and a former ally of al-Sadr in the “Sairoon” parliamentary bloc in the last parliament, says that withdrawing Al-Sudani’s candidacy will not end the conflict because “it is a mistake to understand the conflict as personal.”
Al-Halfi added to Al-Hurra that “the conflict is between two visions, a vision that adheres to sectarian quotas that produced all this devastation and provided space for corruption, and between an approach that believes that it is time to leave the approach of quotas and consensus and that the political system be productive and work to get out of all crises.”
Al-Halfi asserts that “reform requires constitutional amendments, and it can take place with early elections because there is an imbalance in representation if we look at the large size of the boycott of the elections and then the Sadrist bloc’s exit from Parliament, which clearly violated representation.”
But Al-Amber rules out the re-run of the elections and asserts that “the issue is almost impossible in light of a government that does not have powers and under a different election law, and in light of a disputed election commission as well.” “.
Many Iraqis blame Iran for many of the country’s political problems, as it supports the main parties that have dominated the current scene.
Amber says that “it is difficult to think that the threads of Iraq will come out of the hands of Iran, but the current crisis between the Shiite political forces is a crisis that is the reality of the struggle for power and influence, and it may restore the features of the political scene or arrange the papers of the ruling system for a period to come,” stressing that “the political forces that are affiliated with the resistance.” These other titles and Islamic currents that do not have a popular base will, in the coming days, face a difficult test.”
Observers believe that forming a government depends on the framework’s ability to agree with al-Sadr, and perhaps “forming a government on the terms of Muqtada al-Sadr.”
Political analyst and a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Haitham al-Mayahi, says that “no person can anticipate al-Sadr’s decisions, even those close to him. He has different visions and believes that the Sadrist street is with him and implements his words and decisions without any retreat, and this gives him strength and control over the current political process.”
Al-Mayahi added to Al-Hurra website, “We must not forget that the movement does not represent the Iraqi public, which exceeds 40 million and is divided between all parties, sects, sects and nationalities,” stressing that “Al-Sadr, after his announcement, wants a coup against the political process (…) and wants to keep Mr. Al-Kazemi for this stage.”
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