The prospective coalition is expected to increase its seats in the new parliament to 68.
Baghdad – Unremitting and serious efforts recently witnessed in the Iraqi arena in order to unify the ranks of the Sunni forces and form a “Sunni House”, after years of conflict and conflict between its leaders. The efforts were concentrated between the two largest blocs, “Progress” led by former Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, and “Azm” led by Khamis al-Khanjar.
The “Taqaddam” and “Azm” blocs had begun to draw the features of the new alliance in conjunction with the continuation of understandings and discussions between their leaders, until it was announced soon and awaited the announcement of the final results of the legislative elections that took place last October.
Uniting the Sunni House
Adly Muhammad, a leader in the “Progress” alliance, said that there are real understandings between the leader of Advance Muhammad al-Halbousi and the leader of the “Azm” alliance, Khamis al-Khanjar, about forming a unified Sunni alliance in the new parliament.
Regarding the obstacles to the announcement of this alliance, Muhammad explained to Al-Jazeera Net that the tendency of the dagger to the coordination framework (the Shiite alliance that rejects the election results), is the most prominent thing that hinders the agreement finally and its official announcement.
He pointed out that the announcement of the new alliance will most likely be after the announcement of the final results of the legislative elections and the resolution of all appeals submitted in their regard.
Muhammad suggested that the remaining blocs, alliances and Sunni representatives would join this alliance and form a Sunni house that is the strongest and largest since 2003.
The two parties agreed – definitively and emphatically – to support Muhammad al-Halbousi assuming the presidency of the Iraqi Council of Representatives for a second term, with the possibility of Khamis al-Khanjar assuming the position of Vice President of the Republic, according to Muhammad’s speech.
The leader of the Progress Alliance added that there was agreement on Al-Halbousi assuming the leadership of the Sunni House, especially since the latter considered his coalition the largest in the number of seats among the Sunnis.
Muhammad concluded his speech by saying that “the prospective coalition will increase the number of its seats in the new parliament to 68.”
According to the preliminary results of the Iraqi elections, a coalition led by al-Halbousi came second by winning 38 seats, while the second largest Sunni coalition won 15 seats. The Sadrist bloc affiliated with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, came at the forefront of the winners with 73 seats out of 329.
On the other hand, Ihsan al-Shammari – head of the Center for Political Thinking in Iraq – believes that the alliance of al-Halbousi and al-Khanjar is tactical and phased in order to enter into alliances to form the new government with force.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Shammari suggested that the smaller Sunni blocs would join the upcoming alliance, re-form the Sunni House again, and overcome the previous differences between them in the past years.
The Sunni forces in Iraq focus their demands on the reconstruction of the areas destroyed by the war against the Islamic State over a period of 3 years (between 2014 and 2017,), as well as involving them more in the political process, according to observers.
Al-Shammari ruled out the transformation of the small Sunni blocs that won the elections into blocs or alliances opposing the new government, as is expected of some Shiite political blocs.
He pointed out that the Sunni alliance will have great weight among the political circles during the stages of forming the government, which will open many doors for it to implement their demands, such as returning the displaced and the disappeared and rehabilitating their areas affected by the ISIS war and other files.
In addition, political researcher Saad Al-Zubaidi said that the political situation that Iraq is going through due to the political divisions within the Shiite house opened the door for Sunnis and Kurds to re-form large alliances.
Al-Zubaidi believes that the splits between the Shiite political blocs will negatively affect the impact of forming the new Iraqi government, especially the conflict over the prime ministership. Therefore, the Sunni parties rush to form the coalition and resolve the position of the parliament speaker as soon as possible.
In a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, the Iraqi expert spoke, saying that “the new Sunni weight will forcefully impose its views on the selection of the candidate for the new prime minister (the position within the Shiite merit).”
Iraqis voted on the tenth of last October in the parliamentary elections, the fifth such elections since 2003.
The elections witnessed a large boycott of Iraqis; The turnout did not exceed 43%, according to the figures of the High Elections Commission, and in one of the lowest recorded rates.
The vicinity of the Green Zone in central Baghdad has witnessed a sit-in and demonstrations for more than a month for supporters of parties that lost in the elections, according to the preliminary results.