Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sadrist Referendum On Services In Iraq Completed

Results of Sadrist Referendum
The Sadr Movement recently finished its referendum on people’s views of public services in Iraq. The poll started on February 28, 2011 and ended on March 17. The Sadrists claimed that three million people took part. Unsurprisingly, the survey found many unhappy with the state of electricity, water, etc., and that their views were in line with those of the demonstrators. A Sadr official said that the final results would be made public soon. Moqtada al-Sadr also gave his followers the okay to protest in six months if the government hasn’t improved.

As noted before, the modus operandi behind the referendum was to stop people from joining the on-going marches, while attempting to co-opt their demands. Sadr wants to maintain his image as the leader of the Iraqi street, so if there are any protests, he wants his people to be at the forefront. At the same time, he is an important part of the new ruling coalition, and wants to use his poll and the threat of a Sadr led-demonstration to gain greater power within the government. Sadr has given Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a six-month break, but when that time is up the Sadrists may not be able to take advantage of the situation since they control ministries responsible for the delivery of services themselves. They’re likely to blame everything on the premier, but that may not play with the larger population, and could blowback on them as well.

SOURCES

Alsumaria, “Results of Iraq Sadr Front referendum,” 3/18/11

Al-Kadhimi, Bahaa, “Sadrists referendum in Basra: vast majority supports demonstrations,” AK News, 3/17/11

3 comments:

Ali W said...

Joel

I writing this comment in regards to your article a few days ago about maliki closing the offices of the communist party and alusi's as well.

Unfortunately the media sources you have stated have forgotten to mention a fact, this has been ongoing for months now and that these parties were taken after the fall of Saddam and no legal contract were signed by the occupants the the new owners (ie the new gov).

They have been warned about leaving and finding a new places publically and in front of the media a few times , but these parties are fairly poor and rent is extremely expensive in baghdad these days.

Just to let you know,

the articles you are writing are great though keep them coming

Joel Wing said...

Ali

Isn't true that many of the Iraqi parties are in the same situation, that they occupy government owned property that they occupied after 2003? The Kurdish parties just had a tiff about it. The KDP/PUK told Change that if they wanted integrity they should exit the government owned buildings they use and Change fired back that the ruling
parties occupy far more public property because they'd been in power since the 1990s.

Ali W said...

Yes thats correct, its not fair, the ruling parties have created contracts for the buildings with the government for very cheap rent, because they run the government.

But the fact is these parties had the buildings confiscated not to silence them, but to punish them. And by law they were allowed to do this.

Its very different to what happens to opposition parties in the sunni arab states!!