Iraq’s speaker re-elected with backing of Muqtada al-Sadr

BAGHDAD — The first session of Iraq’s new parliament was held on Jan. 9. In that session, new parliament members voted that Mohammed al-Halbusi will serve a second time period as speaker of the Iraqi parliament.

From the beginning of the day, totally different celebration members confirmed their strengths through totally different strategies.

Independent members representing the Tishreen protest motion made their solution to parliament in tuk-tuks. The three-wheeled automobile grew to become an emblem of the protesters throughout the 2019 October demonstrations, ultimately representing all the Tishreen motion.

Sunni members from each rival teams, the Taqaddom Alliance and the Azm Alliance, gathered round for a photograph op earlier than the beginning of the session. Kurds and different minority members wore conventional clothes to the session.

The strongest presence was that of Sadrists, who tied white material on their shoulders symbolizing burial shrouds as a way to ship a message to their rival Shiite events that they intend to battle to the loss of life.

Shiite events had been sharply divided after the elections. Sadrists (the largest winners) gained 74 seats and are calling for a majority authorities. Their Shiite rivals — together with amongst others the Fatah Alliance (affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units), Ammar al-Hakim’s Hikma bloc, Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition and Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr coalition — are calling for a consensual authorities. They all gathered underneath the title of the Coordination Framework with a complete of 59 seats.

The primary purpose behind the dispute between the Sadrists and the Coordination Framework is that the previous desires to type the federal government with its Kurdish and Sunni allies and with out different Shiite events. But Framework members, who misplaced the elections to the Sadrists, wish to stay in energy and obtain a share of the brand new authorities.

Coordination Framework members strongly objected to the election outcomes as they realized that Muqtada al-Sadr’s rise to energy would get rid of them from the federal government. Hence, they claimed election fraud and pushed their followers to protest on the Green Zone.

Protesters arrange camp for 2 months, demanding the annulment of election outcomes and a brand new election. The protests turned violent a couple of instances, however protesters stop and went home as they realized that their calls for wouldn’t be met.

Having mentioned that, the primary session of Iraq’s new parliament wasn’t calm in any respect. The Coordination Framework tried to forestall Sadr from pushing the wheels for almost all authorities.

Sadr had brokered a take care of the Sunnis and Kurds. Less than every week in the past, he obtained Sunni Taqaddom celebration chief Halbousi at his home in Najaf. This is whereas Sadr’s delegation traveled to Erbil to courtroom Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) votes.

An nameless supply from Sadr’s political workplace instructed Al-Monitor that “Sadr has already built his coalition and has secured enough votes to form a majority government.”

Although Sadr has 74 seats, the abovementioned alliances present him with sufficient votes to type a majority of 165 within the parliament, which is required for electing the parliament speaker and prime minister. Halbousi has 37 seats. The KDP controls 31 seats, which brings the variety of Sadr’s coalition to 142. Sadr additionally has been granted the assist of the Azm Alliance led by Khamis al-Khanjar, which offers him with 14 extra seats. Sadr secured the remaining seats on Nov. 25 when he met with impartial members who had gained 43 seats.

Yesterday’s vote was a transparent indication that Sadr’s majority authorities is shifting forward. Halbousi has obtained 200 votes towards his rival, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who was nominated by the Coordination Framework.

Members of the Framework left the corridor previous to the vote as they felt Mashhadani wouldn’t win. Mashhadani himself additionally tried to postpone the session for an additional day, however after he confronted objections from Sadrists and their allies, he left for the hospital, claiming he was attacked by Sadrists.

This didn’t cease the session, and Halbousi was lastly elected. Sadrist parliament member Hakim al-Zamli and KDP parliament member Shakhawan Abdullah had been, respectively, elected as first and second deputy audio system of parliament.

The subsequent part is to elect the president; this requires two-thirds of parliament members. But the principle problem will probably be electing the prime minister, which takes place after the president is elected.

On Jan. 7, present Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi traveled to satisfy Sadr on the cleric’s home in al-Hananah district in Najaf.

In response to Halbousi’s victory, Kadhimi tweeted, “A historic and great day for Iraq, and an opportunity for all to unite to build a strong state.”

Iran reportedly has sought to sway Kurdish and Sunni events to keep away from their aligning with Sadr, fearing that such an alliance would undercut the affect of these events aligned with Tehran.

Their efforts appear to be thus far unsuccessful.

In such circumstances, the bulk authorities seems to be already set, and for the primary time after 2003, there will probably be a majority authorities and a powerful opposition in parliament led by Iran’s allies.

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