Now that the manual recount of Iraq’s May election has been completed and certified, President Fuad Masum called for the newly elected parliament to have it first session on Monday September 3, 2018. The assembly is to elect a speaker and his deputies, then a new president, and then the new executive is to call for the largest bloc to form a government all within 45 days. The problem is the winning parties are not ready to form a new administration yet.
There are two main blocs competing for power. One is headed by Moqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon that includes Ammar Hakim’s Hikma and Iyad Allawi’s Wataniya. On August 19, they met with Prime Minister Haidar Abadi who made a preliminary deal to work with them, despite an argument with Sadr. Together they have 136 seats, although there are reports that Abadi’s Nasr list is splintering. The other group is made up of Hadi Amiri’s Fatah and Vice President Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law. They have 74 seats. Neither has enough to be a majority in the 325 member parliament. They need the new Sunni National Axis list or the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to join them to achieve that goal. That has additional issues as those parties are in disagreement over who should be the new president and speaker of parliament. They have a week to resolve their differences, and make deals. If that doesn’t happen, and there’s a good chance there will be no consensus, the ruling parties will repeat what they did in 2010 when a similar situation occurred. That is to not send enough delegates to form a quorum and keep the first session open until the necessary agreements are made.
Al Aalem, “Details on the verbal argument between Abadi and Sadr meeting at Hotel Babylon,” 8/24/18
Agence France Presse, “Iraq’s new parliament to meet, paving way for government,” 8/27/18
Ibrahim, Arwa, “Iraq’s Sairon and Nasr coalitions in talks to form largest bloc,” Al Jazeera, 8/20/18
Iraq News Network, “Al-Obeidi: The Nasr alliance is witnessing cracks,” 8/18/18
Al Masalah, “Sunni conflict over the president of the parliament …. Jabouri: They covet the position and cover corruption,” 8/27/18