In Iraq’s on going political soap opera Moqtada al-Sadr has faced two new setbacks.
First, the Supreme Court ruled it doesn’t have the authority to dissolve parliament which Sadr has called for. It said only the legislature has that power. This supported an earlier ruling in August by the Supreme Judicial Council that came to the same decision. Afterward the Sadrists said they would not return to parliament even though they have another suit to do just that. That’s because Sadr fears that he might be defeated if a vote is held and wants to avoid that humiliation
Second, Sadr’s allies have joined with his rivals in the Coordination Framework and called for a new government to be formed before early elections are held Sadr’s other major demand. This came after Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi, Khamis al-Khanjar and Massoud Barzani met and made a statement for a new prime minister. This was quickly supported by the Framework. This is another loss for Sadr because the Framework will be able to pick the next premier as it is the largest bloc in parliament. Sadr was hoping to end parliament, hold voting and start from scratch but that’s not going to happen now.
Sadr’s wish is to become the dominant force in Iraqi politics something he’s planned for since 2003. He came out with the largest number of parliamentarians after the October 2021 vote but nothing has worked out for him since then. He couldn’t form a government because he was blocked by the Framework. He had his MPs resign and then took to the streets but that has now backfired on him. It looks like all the major parties have agreed to new voting but even that is unlikely to change the political map much and the ruling parties will be right back to square one.
Bas News, “Iraqi Judicial Council Rejects Sadr’s Call to Dissolve Parliament,” 8/10/22
NINA, “The Coordination Framework forces meet at the home of Faleh Al-Fayyad and agree on the outcomes of the Erbil meeting,” 9/11/22
NRT, “Barzani, Sunni Leaders Agree On Need To Form New Govt Before Early Elections,” 9/11/22
- “Iraqi Federal Court to Consider Appeal Against Resignation Of Sadrist MPs,” 9/4/22
- “Salih Mohammed Insists Sadrist Movement Will Not Return To Parliament,” 9/8/22
Reuters, “Iraq’s top court says it cannot dissolve parliament as impasse continues,” 9/7/22