A new list is being put together in Iraq to try to break the political deadlock in the country and form the next government. It includes both rivals and allies of Moqtada al-Sadr. They hope to make an offer to Sadr to join them but it’s still an open question over whether he will or not.
The new group is the State Administration Alliance. The major players are the Coordination Framework, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Azm Alliance, and the Taqadum bloc. The Framework is Sadr’s biggest rival while the KPD, Azm and Taqadum were aligned with him until he withdrew his parliamentarians. That led them to turn to the Framework and they apparently made a deal.
What comes next is twofold according to the media. September 28 parliament is supposed to hold a session where Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi the head of Taqadum will resign and then be re-elected as a vote of confidence in him. The State Administration will then go to Sadr and ask him to join. They will offer him 6 ministries which is half of the Shiite share in the new administration. The government will be another consensus one where public offices will be divided up amongst the coalition members. That second step is the major roadblock to overcoming the ongoing political crisis in Iraq.
According to Al Mada Sadr will not negotiate with this new list. He wants parliament dissolved, new elections and a legal ruling on who is the largest bloc and gets to create the government. The other sticking points are that Sadr rejects the Framework’s nomination for prime minister Mohammed al-Sudani and he wants a majority government. The bigger problem is that Sadr has overplayed his hand. He had the most members of parliament but withdrawing them led his allies to move towards his enemies to make sure they got positions. Now they have the numbers to elect a premier. Some members of the Framework such as Badr’s Hadi Amiri and Nasr’s Haidar Abadi want to compromise with Sadr while State of Law’s Nouri al-Maliki and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s Qais Khazali want to stick it to him. His only recourse is to take to the streets again and try to disrupt the entire country to block a new administration. That will simply add to the chaos and not resolve the differences between the parties.
Agence France Presse, “Iraq MPs to meet for first time since inter-Shia bloodshed,” 9/26/22
Al Mada, “The Framework intends to go to Al-Hanna after announcing an expanded coalition to manage the transition phase,” 9/26/22
Mahmoud, Sinan, “Iran-backed political groups in Iraq divided over keeping caretaker PM in office,” The National, 9/20/22
Al Monitor, “Iraqi parliament speaker resigns,” 9/26/22
NINA, “Disclosure of a new political Alliance to form the next government,” 9/24/22