SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Head of Iraq’s al-Fateh Alliance Hadi Amiri has asked leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani not to support any Shia party against the other, a State of Law coalition’s spokesman said on Wednesday.
Amiri visited Erbil on Monday where he met with Barzani and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, who is also KDP’s deputy leader, and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.
Baha Nuri, spokesman for the State of Law coalition, told Esta Media Network that Amiri, who is also a leader in the Coordination Framework, had asked Barzani not to support a Shia party against the other, as the Shia parties negotiate to form the largest parliamentary bloc and a new government.
The Coordination Framework includes State of Law Alliance, al-Fateh Alliance, Ata Movement, National Forces Alliance, Haquq Movement and Fadhila party.
“We have asked the Kurdish parties during the talks to be neutral and don’t support any Shia party,” Nuri said.
The State of Law coalition’s spokesman said on Tuesday that Amiri’s meeting with Barzani was “positive”.
Iraqi Shia parties have begun negotiations on the formation of the largest parliamentary bloc and a new government after the federal court ratified the October elections.
No single party holds an outright majority, so the next leader will be voted in by whichever coalition can negotiate allies to become the biggest bloc — which then elects Iraq’s president, who then appoints a prime minister.
In previous parliaments, parties from Iraq’s Shia majority have struck compromise deals to work together and form a government, with an unofficial system whereby the prime minister is Shia, the president is a Kurd and the speaker of parliament is Sunni.
But Sadr, who once led an anti-U.S. militia and who opposes all foreign interference, has repeatedly said the next prime minister will be chosen by his movement.
So rather than strike an alliance with the powerful Shia Coordination Framework — which includes the pro-Iran al-Fateh alliance, the political arm of the former paramilitary Hashed al-Shaabi — Sadr has forged a new coalition.
That includes two Sunni parties, Taqadum and Azm, as well as the KDP.
On January 9, Sadrist movement, together with Sunni Taqaddum alliance and Kurds, re-elected Mohammed al-Halbousi as parliament speaker opposed by the Iran-aligned camp with a solid majority.
Parliament must in the coming weeks choose the country’s president, who will call on the largest parliamentary alliance to form a government, a process that will be dominated by the Sadrist Movement whoever it chooses to work with.
The Sadrist Movement led by Sadr wants to form a national majority government while the Coordination Framework prefers a consensus government.