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Deep disagreement between the opponents and the Sadrist bloc: a national or consensual government?
Baghdad – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: Iraqi political circles are awaiting the announcement of the Independent High Commission, the “final” results of last October’s elections, to proceed with “serious” dialogues leading to the formation of the largest parliamentary bloc in the new “Parliament”, which paves the way for The path towards choosing a prime minister and a new ministerial cabinet, amid a marked tension in the relationship between the “objecting” and “winning” political forces, which portends new escalatory options, unless the Shiite parties in particular reach a new consensus.
The Iraqi political forces have been working since 2003 on the principle of “quotas” or what is constitutionally called “balance” in determining the three presidencies, as Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds measure the three main positions in the country (the presidency of the government for the Shiites), (the presidency of the republic for the Kurds) and (the presidency of the parliament for the Sunnis). as a political norm.
In the first years prior to 2003, Iraq did not witness “complicated” political crises in the selection of these positions, when the Shiite house was united by the “National Alliance,” the Sunnis with the “National List” and the Kurdish with the “Kurdistan Alliance.” However, things began to take another turn after the fragmentation Those alliances, and the divisions that wracked them.
The winning political forces in the October 2021 elections are awaiting what will happen to the Shiite house, to start negotiations to resolve “quotas” in the new government and parliament.
On this basis, Shiite politicians are preoccupied with finding a legal or political solution to the crisis left by the results of the recent elections, and the Sadrist movement, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, obtaining the highest parliamentary seats (more than 70 seats), while other Shiite political forces, affiliated with the “framework,” have not obtained The Coordinating Committee, which includes the “Al-Fatah” coalition led by Hadi al-Amiri, the leaders of the armed Shiite factions, in addition to the leader of the “State of Law” coalition led by Nuri al-Maliki, won (more than 50 seats), according to the “semi-final” results.
The most likely scenario for the “Sadr bloc” is an alliance with the “Progress” alliance led by the outgoing Speaker of Parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi, (about 40 seats) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Massoud Barzani (more than 30 seats) to ensure a parliamentary majority that qualifies him to nominate a prime minister. And a new government.
On the other hand, the political forces affiliated with the “Coordination Ghattar” took the step of protesting and holding a sit-in in front of the gates of the Green Zone, to pressure the government and the commission, by adopting the manual counting and sorting of votes, and not relying on the announced electronic results.
This step quickly turned into clashes between the security forces and the protesters – the majority of Shiite forces – that led to the death and injury of more than 100 protesters and security forces.
The rapid development of events prompted a meeting of the “framework” forces with the presidents of the republic and government (Barham Salih and Mustafa Al-Kazemi) to remedy the crisis, and to come up with a set of recommendations, most notably the “calm down” and de-escalation.
Observers of Iraqi political affairs are talking about the possibility of resolving the stifling political crisis by granting the forces of the “coordinating framework” positions in the new government, as well as not holding them accountable in the next stage.
In this regard, writer and political analyst, Ali Al-Baydar, told Al-Quds Al-Arabi that “the losing Shiite political forces in last October’s elections may resort to escalation or attempt to thwart any step towards forming the new government, without its presence or presence.”
He added: “These forces are pressing for guarantees that they will not be held accountable in the next stage, in the event that (Shiite political forces) resort to the opposition, although this is unlikely.”
Al-Baydar believes that “everyone can go to the option of a settlement, by granting these parties positions or influence within the new government, by creating ministerial portfolios in the next cabinet and returning ministries that were previously merged or canceled,” but he warned against going to “ministerial slack in order to satisfy These parties, and this is a shame in the right of the reform trend that they hope to achieve, in addition to the fact that it will completely lose confidence in the political system.”
He also pointed out that “this political force will not escalate further if it obtains guarantees to give it the formal seats in the new government,” considering at the same time that “the attempt to assassinate Al-Kazemi (last Sunday) and the reaction of the Iraqi, regional and international communities denounced it made many parties fear an escalation, Perhaps it will surrender without being in the government.”
On the other hand, the Coordination Framework forces refuse to grant them parliamentary seats as a “gift or charity.” Rather, they want to audit the election results, which they describe as “rigged” and reveal the fate of more than two million votes for their audience.
Ali Fadlallah, spokesman for the Rights Movement, which is affiliated with the Shiite “coordination framework,” told Al-Quds Al-Arabi that “in the speeches of the opposition political forces, they said that they are not looking for charity, grants or donations from some political forces,” noting that “the forces The objecting politician wants to return to the real results that the Iraqi people voted for, and give them many votes.”
He added: “Everyone knows that the electoral weight of the coordinating framework forces exceeds two million and 250 thousand votes, but the seats they obtained (according to the semi-final results) do not match this percentage,” explaining that “what is required is to work on the commission’s review of the announced results, and to correct the announced numbers. , in a manner that guarantees the integrity of the results, and not granting the opposition political forces charity or granting them parliamentary seats. This is rejected.”
According to Fadlallah, “the objecting political forces want the real results that the Iraqi street voted on as they are, and not as announced by the commission. These results have been tampered with, which negatively affected the opposition political forces.
Regarding the next steps of the political forces objecting to the election results, in the event that the appeals are “consistent” with the announced results, and the possibility of an escalation of the public of those forces, Fadlallah explained: “The political forces within the coordination framework that oppose the election results, deal with events realistically and objectively, away from recklessness. ».
Regarding the expected escalation, he pointed out that “the escalation is intended to work on putting pressure on the government, the political class, and the commission in order to correct the course of the elections, given that there are non-objective and unreal results, and these votes were manipulated in order to distance the opposition forces from the political process, or reduce it and undermine it. being in that process.” A spokesman for the Rights Movement suggested that “the expected escalation of these forces is to deal with events gradually in a positive way, for example, the demonstrations today are in one place, while in the future they may be in more than one place, and this is what actually happened a few days ago.” Noting that “the escalation will be legal, far from what many imagine that the escalation will be military or in the form of military confrontations.”
He went on to say: “These forces do not want to drag the country into chaos, contrary to what the conspirators want to push the country towards security and political chaos that leads to the destruction of the political system. The forces objecting to the results of the elections are keen on the stability of the country in all cases.”
In the context of discussions to form the largest parliamentary bloc, and to choose the new government, Fadlallah indicated that “the forces of the coordination framework have very great comfort in the number of seats that exceed 84, subject to increase. This gives it a strong incentive to be the nucleus of the largest parliamentary bloc, especially since the interpretation of the Federal Court emphasized the largest parliamentary bloc and not the winning bloc, which will give the coordinating framework greater comfort in the field of negotiation, apart from whether the Commission will, through the judicial body, to Correcting the results and increasing the number of seats for political forces objecting to the election results (the coordination framework).
He believed that “one of the expected possibilities is to go to a consensus government similar to the scenario of the 2018 government (led by Adel Abdul-Mahdi) based on the two poles (the coordination framework) and (the Sadrist movement), explaining that “the coordination Ghattar does not reject this idea, in order to contain The crisis, but so far there are no signs of approval on the part of the Sadrist movement.” However, writer and political analyst Ali Al-Baydar suggested that the next prime minister would be chosen, according to “Christian conditions,” which would enable the current Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, to remain in his position as a “compromise candidate” between the “Sadr bloc” and the “coordinating framework.” .
He added, “Al-Kazemi is a candidate for a settlement that is strongly proposed in the event that the political parties do not agree on another figure,” while he pointed out that the leader of the “State of Law” coalition, Nuri al-Maliki, “is presenting himself as a primary candidate, especially since he enjoys the support of Shiite and Sunni political forces,” as he saw The chances of the leader of the victory coalition, Haider al-Abadi, “are very weak, especially as he is the candidate of the losing forces, not to mention that he (Al-Abadi) was talking about uncontrolled weapons and he is the candidate for this weapon,” according to his opinion.
He continued, “The strongest option is to be a Sadrist prime minister candidate, or under Sadrist conditions,” adding that “Al-Maliki can be this Sadrist candidate, but on the terms of the Sadrist bloc, for Maliki and al-Sadr are closer to each other at this stage, since 2007.”
He concluded by saying: «It is not possible to go to a Sadrist government away from al-Maliki or a Maliki government away from al-Sadr. The two parties will resort to consensus, interest requires that. There will be a prime minister with Sadrist conditions, whether he is Al-Kazemi or Al-Maliki, and he must come through an agreement between Al-Sadr and Al-Maliki.”