Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Coordination Framework and Sadr Inch Closer To Agreement On New Govt

(Reuters)
Talks over forming Iraq’s new government are inching forward. The biggest issue right now is whether Nouri al-Maliki from State of Law and Qais al-Khazali from Asaib Ahl Al-Haq will be included in the next regime or not. They are longtime rivals of Moqtada al-Sadr who wants to exclude them.

 

The Coordination Framework, which includes Maliki, Khazali and all the major Shiite parties besides Sadr has been pushing for the entire list to get positions in the next administration. The talks have been led by Fatah/Badr leader Hadi Amiri. According to Al Mada Sadr has agreed to include all of Amiri’s Fatah, Haidar al-Abadi’s Dawa faction, National Security Advisor Falah Fayad, and Ammar Hakim’s Hikma, but the sticking point is still Maliki and Khazali. The number of ministries that the Framework wants has also been reduced. Originally Maliki wanted 6 ministries for his State of Law, the deputy speaker of parliament, and for him to become vice president. Now Amiri is asking for six ministries period for the Framework.

 

The Framework was full of bluster initially. It constantly claimed it had the most seats in parliament, that it would form the next government, and that it would get to pick the next prime minister. It quickly realized that Sadr held the upper hand and would dictate the terms. This is why there are now reports that the Framework is willing to sacrifice Maliki to get its part of the next regime. The parties are worried they will lose their offices, power, money, and patronage networks.

 

The usual cast of foreign actors have been involved in talks as well. The Sadrists said that Hezbollah’s Hussein Kawtharani went to Najaf but couldn’t get a meeting with Moqtada. Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander General Ismail Qani was reportedly more successful. The Iraqi media claimed he was responsible for the Framework being willing to give up on Maliki if necessary. Iran and its protégé Hezbollah want to maintain Shiite power in Iraq because all the major players are all friendly to Tehran and will preserve its influence over the country.

 

There are still many days and weeks ahead before the Shiite parties come to an agreement. Once that’s accomplished however all the other lists will quickly fall into line, the other offices will be divvied up and Iraq will have a new administration.

 

SOURCES

 

Al Mada, “Al-Amiri to Al-Hanana soon to persuade Al-Sadr in the last chance negotiations,” 1/25/22

- “The Coordination Framework meets with Sadr over government, even if it costs the isolation of al-Maliki,” 1/3/22

- “Coordination Framework removes al-Maliki and is ready to prosecute members of the Dawa Party in exchange for merging with al-Sadr,” 1/18/22

- “A new crisis between Al-Sadr and the Coordination Framework over the Prime Minister and the fate of the rest of the State of Law,” 1/20/22

 

Mahmoud, Sinan, “Sunni politician Mohammed Al Halbousi re-elected as Iraq Parliament Speaker,” The National, 1/9/22

 

Middle East Monitor, “Iraq: Al-Sadr rejects mediation for consensus government,” 1/25/22

 

 


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