Iraqi cleric pushes for elections, new social contract, in assist of prime minister


Oct 16, 2020

In order to discover a manner out of the long-standing political disaster, Iraq goes by means of an early election course of that might reshape the Iraqi political scene.

However, the parliament failed Oct. 14 in its try to cross a brand new electoral regulation for elections to be held subsequent yr. Also, the federal court docket accountable for overseeing the elections and the electoral fee that may handle the elections haven’t been finalized but.

This is whereas the protesters are calling for a brand new wave of demonstrations to start Oct. 25.

And there are different disputes in Iraq which might be sharper and broader than the elections situation. There are militias appearing towards the state, and the United States is threatening to shut its embassy in Baghdad, one thing that would shake the whole political system within the nation. Also, the financial disaster is rising worse and worse.

Amid these circumstances, the pinnacle of the Hikma (Wisdom) motion, Ammar al-Hakim, is asking for a brand new social contract in Iraq to kind a brand new political system responding to the Iraqi folks’s calls for, which have significantly modified for the reason that present system was put into place following the 2003 invasion.

“The social contract on which Iraq was founded after 2003 is no longer able to produce a balanced, stable system in Iraq,” Hakim instructed Al-Monitor, stating that Iraq is witnessing a brand new era that had not taken half in forming the political system in 2003.

The majority of protesters within the demonstrations that started in October 2019 have been underage or had not but even been born in 2003. The protesters are demanding severe adjustments within the political system; there are proposals to alter the structure and even convey the whole political system down.

“All these variables have prompted us to put forward the new social contract project, which does not necessarily cancel the previous phase, but rather is based on its positiveness,” Hakim stated.

in response to the query about what kind a brand new political system ought to take, Hakim stated, “We believe that fundamental changes must be made in some articles of the constitution in the process of developing the political system.”

Hakim stated he believes that elections in Iraq will need to have just one winner — the social gathering or coalition fashioned earlier than the elections that wins the biggest variety of seats within the parliament.

It is value mentioning {that a} dispute between former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition led Iraq’s federal court docket to permit political events to kind new coalitions after elections and declare to be the biggest political entity after which the election winner. Consequently, in 2010, Maliki, who was then prime minister, was capable of enhance his coalition’s dimension after the election by becoming a member of the National Iraqi Alliance; in consequence, Maliki remained in his publish, though Allawi’s coalition had gained extra seats.

Hakim sees early elections as a path towards an answer for the continuing Iraqi political disaster. For this motive, he’s calling for cautious preparations for subsequent yr’s elections.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has known as for the elections to be held in June 2021. However, this requires some important steps, together with approving the electoral regulation within the parliament and forming the federal court docket and the electoral fee.

Hakim is urging the Iraqi parliament and judiciary system to speed up the method of finalizing these three necessities. However, he believes that along with all these three steps, it’s important to provide a wholesome and clear political atmosphere that ensures a clean transition course of to a brand new authorities accepted by the Iraqi folks and capable of convey stability and the rule of regulation in Iraq.

Hakim warns in regards to the affect of political cash and armed teams on the early elections.

The Iraqi authorities has been conducting campaigns to battle corruption and for all arms to be below state management. However, these campaigns have confronted many challenges from the political events and militias.

As a part of his effort to assist the federal government,  Hakim fashioned a brand new parliamentary bloc known as Iraqioun; 46 members of the 329-seat parliament joined it.

The new bloc helps the state’s efforts to impose the rule of regulation on all political and navy forces in Iraq and to maintain all varieties of arms in the state’s palms.

The head of Iraqioun strongly condemned the assaults towards all international diplomatic missions and navy bases and troops in Iraq, contemplating this to be very dangerous to Iraq’s picture and place on the planet. He known as upon the Iraqi authorities to confront these acts and to take advantage of a nationwide temper that opposes such assaults.

Following US threats to shut its embassy in Baghdad, many Iraqi politicians, together with quite a lot of commanders and leaders of the Popular Mobilization Units — notably PMU head Faleh Fayadh and Badr Organization chief Hadi al-Amiri (additionally the pinnacle of the PMU’s Fatah bloc in parliament) — condemned the assaults towards international missions and bases.

Hakim is engaged on forming a big political coalition for the elections. He is asking for a cross-ethnic and cross-sectarian coalition, together with all Iraqi parts. He believes the Iraqi political scene ought to move from ethno-sectarian rivalry to political rivalry in a manner the place governments are fashioned primarily based on political alliances and the place a robust political opposition can also be fashioned that may assist appropriate the federal government’s plan of action.

He is approaching political events from numerous ethnic and non secular backgrounds with a purpose to kind the coalition. His workforce is also assembly recurrently with protesters in an effort to convey a few of them into the coalition.

However, sectarian divisions have deep roots inside Iraqi politics, which make it tough for such a undertaking to be carried out.

Indeed, Hakim’s Wisdom bloc often is the solely Shiite political motion warning in regards to the present harmful scenario that is also calling for elementary adjustments to develop a brand new social order in Iraq. He has summarized his imaginative and prescient about this new Iraq in three phrases: unity, sovereignty and a robust Iraqi state.