After the first meeting of its kind between the two parties in Baghdad, will al-Sadr give up his constants to win the favor of his Shiite rivals?

The winning political forces in the elections are awaiting court approval to start formal negotiations to form alliances, in preparation for holding the first session of the new parliament, to announce the most numerous parliamentary bloc that will form the government.

In the first meeting of its kind, the leader of the Sadrist bloc, Muqtada al-Sadr, met at a luncheon in Baghdad with the so-called “coordinating framework” forces, which includes the largest Shiite political entities in Iraq that reject the results of the parliamentary elections that took place on the tenth of last October. Al-Sadr still adheres to a majority or opposition government? Will he abandon his constants and return to the quota?

The meeting aims at dialogue and announcing an agreement to form a consensus government that does not exclude anyone, which is in contrast to what the leaders of the “Sadr bloc” insist on forming a “national majority” government or going to the opposition.

According to the final results, the “Sadr bloc” maintained its lead on the winning lists, as it won 73 seats out of 329, followed by the Shiite entities competing for the premiership, the “State of Law Coalition” list in third place with 33 seats, then the “Al-Fateh Alliance” sixth with 17 seats. .

While Muqtada al-Sadr – in a tweet on his Twitter account – thanked the commission hours after the results were announced, the “coordinating framework” forces accused the commission of “preparing the election results in advance.”

The “Coordination Framework” forces believe that the electoral process witnessed fraud, which necessitated a continuous sit-in for a number of supporters of these forces for weeks, at the gates of the “Green Zone”, which includes the headquarters of the Iraqi government in the center of the capital, Baghdad.

These forces demand the re-counting and manual counting of all polling stations, which was rejected by the commission, which considers that these demands are inconsistent with the constitution and the electoral law, and says that it has re-counted and counted manually in the contested centers with evidence.

The “Al-Fateh Alliance” headed by Hadi Al-Amiri warned of “great public anger”; Because of the Commission’s insistence on announcing the election results without exposing the “fraud and tampering operations” that accompanied the polls.

majority or opposition government

In its media discourse and political stances, the “Sadr bloc” proceeds from the assumption that it is the winning bloc that will form a “national majority” government, or that it will go to the opposition trench in the Parliament and the government, away from the “consensual government.”

Sadrist leaders believe that consensual governments have been tried for more than 15 years without leading the country to political and economic reform, which is what the next government (if formed by the Sadrist bloc) intends to adopt as a basic strategy in managing the state.

With the absence of opportunities for a Shiite forces alliance with the “Sadr bloc”, it seems that the only chance for them to form the most numerous parliamentary bloc is by joining the “Progress Alliance” headed by the dissolved Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi (37 seats), and the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by Massoud Barzani (31 seats). ).

But this opportunity is also not available to the “Sadr bloc”, for reasons related to the vision of the “Progress Alliance” and the Kurdistan Democratic Party that it is in their interest to enter into an alliance led by Shiites, and not with a single bloc.

These forces prefer to resolve differences within the Shiite house and agree on its candidate for prime minister, before entering into negotiations to barter granting confidence to the next government in return for political, partisan or regional gains pledged by the government.
With the fact that there is no possibility for Sunni or Kurdish blocs to join the “Sadr bloc” alliance, observers believe that the forces of the “coordinating framework” – from which the “Sadr bloc” withdrew last July – could constitute the most numerous parliamentary bloc by about 85 to 90 deputies from the forces officially affiliated with the framework and the small electoral blocs and lists allied with it without an official announcement, such as the “Babylon Movement” (Christian – 4 deputies) and the “Azm Alliance” (Sunni – 14 deputies).

With the exception of the “Extension Movement” emanating from the October 2019 protests, which won 9 seats, and the independents who won 30 seats, other Shiite entities and some independents can merge into the “coordinating framework” forces coalition to form the most numerous parliamentary bloc.

Expectations that the Federal Court will wait to ratify the election results until settlements are reached (Al-Jazeera)

Awaiting settlement

According to the Iraqi constitution, there is no specific time period for the Federal Court to ratify the final official results announced by the Electoral Commission last Tuesday, which is what the Sadrist bloc fears, which urges the court to abide by constitutional frameworks in approving the election results without responding to pressure.

It is expected that the Federal Court will wait in announcing the ratification of the election results, to give the rival political forces more time to reach settlements and understandings to get out of the current crisis.

The winning political forces are waiting for the court’s approval to start formal negotiations to form alliances, in preparation for holding the first session of the new House of Representatives, to announce the most numerous parliamentary bloc (to form a government), as well as a prior understanding on setting broad outlines for naming the three presidencies (the Republic, the government and Parliament), in addition to distributing Ministries and the presidency of independent bodies.

The “Sadr bloc” will tend to give up its adherence to the option of the “national majority” government or go to the opposition, realizing the difficulty of forming a broad alliance with other political entities to form the largest parliamentary bloc in exchange for the number of representatives of other Shiite forces represented in the “coordinating framework”, which is heading towards Alliance in one block.

The positions of most of the competing Shiite political forces witnessed clear transformations during the hours that followed the announcement of the final results, after they realized the difficulty of changing them, and that everyone had to deal with reality and agree on compromise solutions that would satisfy everyone.

But this does not mean that the competing forces will emerge from the expected meetings with an agreement that satisfies everyone. It is likely that the court’s approval of the election results will be followed by an escalation in the momentum of the protests of supporters of the “coordinating framework” forces in the “Green Zone in central Baghdad.”

This escalation is likely to be accompanied by a return to the discourse of resorting to the option of arms to impose a fait accompli, to compel the political entities to accept understandings for power-sharing, away from the scheduled benefits, according to the political quota in the distribution of positions among the winning blocs.

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