Extraordinary challenges await Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq (2)

By Elijah J. Magnier:

The results of the Iraqi elections have not yet led to swiftly deciding the identity of the party that will select the next Prime Minister. It is, however, most likely – but not certain – that the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has the final say in nominating the Prime Minister in light of the expectation of allying with the ” coalition of the powerful groups”. This alliance may include the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and the Sunni leader and current speaker Muhammad al-Halbusi who hold 72 parliamentary seats. 

However, this does not mean that the opposite camp led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has given up on its ambition. He has swiftly gathered a coalition of six political parties under his wings, bringing the total number of parliamentary seats he is leading to 68, compared to 72 owned by the Sadrist movement alone. 

The constitution requires 165 parliamentary seats for whoever nominates the next prime minister, and consequently, the bazaar of negotiations and demands of political partners are on the table. Therefore, the door of competition is wide open for al-Maliki to attract powerful Sunni and Kurds groups, notwithstanding the lack of any chance for al-Maliki to become the new Prime Minister. Iran and the Marjaiya in Najaf are the first who oppose the return of al-Maliki, who served as Prime Minister for two terms and was forced to abandon the third term in 2014.

Equally important not to ignore is the fact that powerful Iraqi politicians have voiced the necessity to run the elections next year due to the many appeals doubting and vigorously contesting the results, following the announcement that over one million votes remained uncounted. Others are calling for the cancellation of the current elections for reasons of fraud.

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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher


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