Al-Sadr is moving forward without Shiite parties to choose Iraq’s leaders

Sadrist MPs inside the Parliament

Does estrangement prevail between Sayed Muqtada and Iran?

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

The Iraqi parliament convened on Sunday to gather together the people elected representatives after long weeks of «hit and run» protests by Shiite political parties that initially rejected – and later acquiesced in the fait accompli – the results of the elections. The demonstrations by pro-Iranian Shia groups were due to their loss of large numbers of parliamentary seats, thus no longer being considered the strongest in the Iraqi arena. After the first assembly was delayed for hours, the new deputies took the oath to allow last-minute negotiations and agreement on many parties’ alliances. The Sadrist party will claim to hold the largest entitled to nominate the Prime Minister when Saturday nights talks fail to bring all the Shiite parties together under one umbrella. This means Sayed Muqtada al-Sadr will choose the Iraqi presidents in agreement with the most prominent Sunni and Kurdish representatives without coordinating with the other Shia parties.

However, the so-claimed ill health of the elderly parliament speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who chairs the session, escaped a sharp dispute between Shiite representatives over who owns the largest parliamentary group and therefore has the right to nominate the Prime Minister.

The “State of Law” led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s deputies forwarded a claim to the Speaker announcing they held the largest group of MPs with a coalition of 88 MPs and showed their signatures, thus maintaining the largest group compared to the 73 representing the Sadrist movement. This angered the Sadrist movement’s deputies and led to a dispute that caused the “coordination framework” deputies to leave the Parliament.

Some deputies demanded that al-Mashhadani return to the parliament when recovered or appoint someone to represent him. Nevertheless, a new elderly speaker, Khaled al-Darraji, was selected to continue the session. Naturally, what happened was in the interests of the “coordination framework”, gaining more time to negotiate with Sayed Muqtada to reach an understanding- that seems far away. The next elderly president Khaled Al-Daraji was appointed to chair the Iraqi parliamentary session.

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