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Abadi and Sadr: The path towards an Iraqi national cabinet

Hassan Al Mustafa

Published: Updated:

The Sairoon Alliance, led by Sayyid Moqtada al-Sadr, won the largest share of seats in the recent parliamentary elections in Iraq. Although he did not win an absolute majority, his alliance with the communists and other nationalist allies gave him ascendance over many of his rivals and competitors.

There are still chances that current Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi will be appointed prime minister again in alliance with Sairoon. However, observers had expected that his list — the Victory Alliance — would achieve better results and be the frontrunner in the elections and not among the first three winners.

The Fatah Alliance — which includes Hadi al-Amiri and represents the Popular Mobilization and those allied with it, specifically parties which support Iran’s policy — have gained a balanced presence in the parliament. Therefore, they constitute a political power that also has military presence on the ground and popularity among Iraqis. Only the Sadrist Movement competes with them in this popularity.

Popularly speaking, the competition between Sairoon and the Fatah Alliance will be fierce as despite the difference between the two movements, the disparate loyalties and mentalities which seem to grow even more distant, both movements rely on mobilizing the public because their power lies on the wide base in various cities, whose residents have middle to low incomes, and a very small category of the Iraqi elite which is a percentage that represents nothing compared to the two movements’ size.

Although political and cultural differences may lead to disharmony between Iraqi parties, they can create balance leading to mutual concessions

Hassan Al Mustafa

Haidar Abadi, thanks to his previous political experience with the Dawa Party and his experience as prime minister, has a very good practical and diplomatic experience that’s accompanied with a group of experienced aides. He thus represents the option of the political and technocratic category as well as of the educated category, much more than ordinary Iraqi individuals do.

Although these political and cultural differences may lead to disharmony between the leading parties, they can actually create some sort of balance that eventually leads to mutual concessions between the different movements, particularly the Sadrist Movement and Abadi’s alliance. This way, there will be an agreement on forming national unity and not a partisan government and that works on making the Iraqi decision making limited to local parties, seeks to be independent from foreign parties and keeps away from Iran’s domination or any other foreign domination.

The independence of the Iraqi decision, establishing good relations with surrounding Arab countries, specifically Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries, fighting financial and administrative corruption, improving Iraqi’s livelihood and combating terrorism are the points of convergence between Sairoon Alliance and the Victory Alliance. Thinking in a strategic way that’s not tense or minority-related will help both alliances form a cabinet that enjoys popular support and represents experienced political competencies. This is what Iraq needs and not militant mentalities and violence.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Hassan AlMustafa is Saudi journalist with interest in middle east and Gulf politics. His writing focuses on social media, Arab youth affairs and Middle Eastern societal matters. His twitter handle is @halmustafa.


Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.