Iraq: Abadi, Maliki Likely to Join Sadr, Amiri Alliance

Iraq: Abadi, Maliki Likely to Join Sadr, Amiri Alliance

Thursday, 14 June, 2018 - 06:45
Moqtada al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri hold a press conference to announce their political alliance. (Reuters)
Baghdad – Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and former Premier Nouri al-Maliki are likely to join the political alliance that was announced on Tuesday between head of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr and head of the Fateh alliance Hadi al-Amiri.

Abadi, who heads the Victory alliance, and Maliki, who heads the State of Law coalition, will probably join the newly announced alliance “within certain conditions,” informed Iraqi sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“It remains to be seen if the new alliance will facilitate or complicate the appointment of a prime minister,” they added.

The forging of the Sadr-Amiri will prevent the eruption of any confrontation between the two Shiite figures in wake of the parliamentary elections results that saw Sadr emerge victorious, they continued.

The program or goals of the new alliance have not been declared yet, but Iraqi political circles said the partnership was likely formed under “Iranian pressure.” They noted in this regard a recent visit paid to Baghdad by commander of the Iranian Quds Force Qassem Soleimani, “who brought the two Shiite figures together.”

Sadr and Amiri surprised the Iraqi political scene when they announced their alliance given that the Fateh coalition leader had intensified talks in recent days with other Iraqi leaders to form a political bloc.

Tuesday’s announcement, said observers, had Iran’s hallmarks given the influence it wields over Shiite officials in Iraq.

Sunni, Kurdish, Christian and Turkmen forces were quick to voice their concerns over the alliance, saying the sectarian nature of the partnership aborted all previous claims that a “political majority” was being sought to form the largest parliamentary bloc.

Minister of Displaced and leading member of the Kurdish Movement for Change Jassem Mohammed al-Jaf told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It was too early to speak about forming alliances between parliamentary blocs.”

“All the current developments are simply initial understandings and political meetings aimed at achieving narrow interests,” he said.

Leading member of the Sunni Decision Alliance Atheel al-Nujaifi told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We reject the partial sectarian alliance. We do not believe it will be overcome during this time.”

He predicted that the internal scene in Iraq “will witness more changes in the balance of power and the emergence of forces at the expense of others.”

“As we have said from the start, we must accept the result of Shiite alliances and deal with them. We have no role to play among the Shiites. Our role will begin when the Shiite blocs are completed and when they start negotiating with others,” he explained.

“More importantly, we should address the repercussions of the constitutional vacuum, American-Iranian conflict and reemergence of ISIS as dangers that require concessions from all sides,” he added.

“They must arrange their internal affairs before the situation unravels,” stressed Nujaifi.

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