Iraq’s Coordination Framework to form government if talks with Sadr fail: leader

Leaders of Coordination Framework meet Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad, December 2, 2021. (Photo: NINA)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s Coordination Framework will form the largest parliamentary bloc if talks fail with Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who was the main winner in the Iraqi parliamentary election, a leader from the group said on Saturday.

Last week, a delegation from the Coordination Framework led by Hadi al-Amiri met with Sadr in Najaf to discuss the formation of a new government.

The Coordination Framework includes State of Law Alliance, al-Fateh Alliance, Ata Movement, National Forces Alliance, Haquq Movement and Fadhila party.

Following the meeting, Sadr stressed in a tweet that the upcoming government should be “a national majority government, neither eastern nor western”.

Amiri, for his part, said the meeting with Sadr was “positive”.

Wail Rukabi, a leader in the Coordination Framework, said on Saturday that the group “wants Sadr to change his stance and both Shia sides to form a government”.

He further said the group had secured 90 seats of the 329-seat parliament in the October parliamentary election and that it would form the largest parliamentary bloc if talks failed with Sadr.

“The coordination framework is the largest bloc with 90 seats and will form the government in the event that Sadr rejects a coalition with the group,” Rukabi said to Baghdad Today.

He also noted that forming a new government without Sadr could fail and not “last a year”, hoping the Sadrist movement would unite the two sides.

“The government cannot be changed every six months and hold an early election. Therefore, the best way is to form a consensus government that includes all parties.”

On Thursday, Iraqi President Barham Salih issued a decree that convenes new parliament for January 9, following the approval of final results by the federal court.

Lawmakers will elect a parliamentary speaker and two deputies in their first session. They will later elect a new president who will task the leader of the largest bloc to form a government as prime minister.

The main winner of the election was Sadr, a populist who has positioned himself as a staunch opponent of both Iran and the United States.

Sadr’s bloc, already the biggest in the 329-seat parliament, will expand to 73 seats from 54. Its main rivals for years, the Fatah bloc of factions linked to pro-Tehran militia, meanwhile, saw its parliamentary representation collapse to just 17 seats from 48.

The Taqqadum Party, which draws support from minority Sunni Muslims, won 37 seats, according to the final results.

Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance won 33 seats, the results showed.

Because no coalition won a majority, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish coalitions have been jockeying for position in the new government.

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