Two perspectives on formation of Iraqi government
There are currently two different views on the formation of a government in Iraq: the first is the Athar Tansiqi, or “Coordination Framework of Shiite Parties”, which seeks to form a “national unity government” with the participation of all political parties, movements, and groups.
On the other hand, there is Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement, who is calling for the formation of a Kurdish-Sunni “majority government” through the formation of the “Saving the Homeland” Alliance with the participation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani and the Sayadeh Coalition led by Mohammad Halbousi and Khamis al-Khanjar.
Process of forming a government on Sadr’s dilemma
At the end of the 40-day period that Muqtada al-Sadr had issued a statement on March 30, within the framework of the coordination of Shiite parties to form a government, and after four unsuccessful attempts to introduce a new government in the seven months after the election, Muqtada al-Sadr, in a televised speech and in his latest stance, sharply criticized the coordination forces of the Shiite parties, emphasizing: They are forcing us to form a coalition with ourselves, they should rest assured that we will never allow Iraq to return to sectarian quotas and an agreement that has damaged everything in Iraq for years.
Sadr also tweeted: The only way ahead for us is to join the ‘national opposition’ for at least 30 days. If the factions and parliamentary committees succeed in forming a government during this period, that is very good, otherwise, another decision will be made and we will announce it in due course. In fact, Sadr has put Iraq in a dilemma: either to form a government in less than 30 days or to turn its movement into a national opposition in Iraq.
Such remarks came after the Iraqi Supreme Court issued two important rulings in recent days, which some say are pleasing to Muqtada al-Sadr: first, the “abolition of the state food security bill” and, second, the “cancellation of all government employment during the period of the government implementing measures” which means the annulment of the election of the new governors of Najaf and Dhi Qar, as well as all recruitments, the selection of advisers and employment of thousands of personnel in the national security organizations, intelligence and the secretariat of the Iraqi government, in which Sadr has serious influence.
Muqtada al-Sadr’s statement that he was a national opposition and did not intervene in the government formation talks, which was accompanied by a sharp attack on the Shiite coordination framework, is more like a political pressure or leverage to gain concessions, which will add to the complexity of the political, social, security and field situation in that country:
One: By prolonging the process of forming a government in Iraq, it paves the way for the continuation of the atmosphere of political instability and expansion of the depth and scope of national security threats, and as a result, expansion of the playing field of the United States and terrorist groups in Iraq.
Two: Instability and insecurity are the two direct consequences of political uncertainty and statelessness in any country. This will help revitalize ISIS, especially in Iraq, which has gone through a difficult crisis for ISIS and the Takfiri terrorists.
Third: It reinforces the idea and belief in Iraqi public opinion that Sadr and his movement are preventing formation of a government and, consequently, causing the continuation of the political stalemate in Iraq. This could reduce Sadr’s political and social popularity, as well as his popular position among Shiites and Iraqi resistance groups.
This is an indisputable fact that Muqtada al-Sadr belongs to a family that is considered a rooted family in Iraq, which has always been at the forefront of the struggle against the United States and the Zionist regime, and is one of the pioneers of resistance and struggle. Therefore, he must avoid any behavior or speech that would tarnish the dignity and position of this family, which is mixed with struggle and martyrdom, in the Iraqi society and the region.
Fourth, it increases the likelihood of a shift in intra-Shiite strife to a Shiite-Shiite conflict in Iraq, a situation that is effectively to the detriment of the Iraqi people and to the interests of the United States, the Zionist regime, and terrorist groups. It is worth noting that the longer the process of forming a government in Iraq is affected by two important variables. The first is “internal Shiite divisions” and the second is “foreign interference” which sees political uncertainty in Iraq as a good platform for advancing their interests in Iraq.
Five: At a time when Iraq is still in the early stages of democracy, continuation of the political stalemate is further undermining Iraq’s public confidence in the ballot box, thereby reducing the legitimacy of governments and the inefficiency of the Iraqi political system.
Muqtada al-Sadr’s recent remarks, however, do not correspond to the political and field realities of Iraq; because without the participation of the coordination framework of the Shiite parties, it is not possible to form a national majority government.
Formation of a consensus government based on the “win-win” rule, which is supported by the majority of the Iraqi people and parties, is the only sensible, logical solution and in accordance with the political and field realities of Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr’s insistence on forming a majority government by forming a tripartite coalition with some Kurds and a majority of Sunni Arabs is not only incompatible with the political wisdom of the Iraqi society, but also an attempt to form a government based on a win-lose rule that is largely impossible and in a situation where Iraq is facing many accumulated problems in the field of economy and livelihood, it is actually exacerbating the current problems and as a result, the national security of Iraq is weakened from within.
The unity of the Shiites is the most important priority and vital necessity for the parties and movements, as well as power and politics in the Iraqi society. If this important and key principle is ignored at the highest levels, its aftershocks will surely emerge quickly in the Iraqi society and on the streets, and it will plunge the country into a new round of crisis and political, security and other tensions.