Results for Tag: Muqtada al-Sadr
Alongside rivalries over the premiership, there lies a bigger truth: Iraq cannot choose between Iran and the US. If it does so, it will be losing more than it will gain. Taking internal reactions to Abadi’s comments into consideration, choosing one side would deepen Iraq’s political gaps, which can in turn lead to social turmoil. In addition, such a policy cannot help in the reconstruction process in Iraq, for Iran has the power to derail and destroy such an effort for Baghdad. It will also bring back heated regional rivalries to the country. Therefore, siding with Iran or the US will have ramifications on Iraq’s internal politics, regional position and international status. In all the three levels, there is no much for Iraq to win, but there is certainly a lot to lose.
A committee representing the protesters laid out a list of demands at a press conference in Basra on 16 July, according to the Kurdish news site Rudaw. These included: developing a plan for solving water and electricity shortages with a clear timetable; discharging foreign workers and hiring Basra residents in the oilfields; improving health and education services; firing many of the local directors responsible for security and services in Basra; and a number of terms related to transparency about and allocation of petrodollars.
With a 6 June vote to amend the election law, parliament ousted the electoral commission and replaced it with a panel of judges tasked with overseeing a manual recount of the 11 million ballots cast. Al-Abadi endorsed the recount and alleged problems with electronic vote counting devices that had been used for the first time in the country. Al-Sadr’s camp, meanwhile, painted the recount as a delaying tactic to undermine al-Sadr’s victory and prevent the formation of the new government.
The most recent blow to Iranian influence was the victory of Muqtada al-Sadr’s political coalition in the Iraqi parliamentary elections in May 2018. He reached out to poor Shiites, marginalized Sunnis and even secular parties who wanted a change in Baghdad. Although he cannot form a government on his own or become prime minister, he will play an important role in shaping a new political climate that is likely to be more resilient to Iranian influence.
Since the defeat of IS, steps have to be taken to rebuild, physically and morally, a nation that has once again been shattered. These elections could be another of those steps, but all the signs indicate that they will do little more than maintain the status quo, with the real issues facing Iraqis once again going unaddressed.