Iraqi Shi’ite Parties in Coalition Talks

Shi'ite Alliance Would Weaken Sunni Position

It is being reported that the two major Shi’ite parties in Iraq, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council and the Dawa Party, are engaged in talks to rebuild their coalition, enhancing the power of the nation’s majority sect at the expense of the Sunni minority.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

The two parties had long cooperated in Iraqi politics, but gains by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa Party in the recent provincial elections had allowed them to rely less and less on the rival faction, which had long sought to unseat them as the nation’s primary Shi’ite party.

This is likely another step on the road to Maliki’s bid to limit the power of the nation’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities. Last month Maliki said that in the name of democracy the nation’s power-sharing agreements should be abandoned.

The Dawas aren’t really in a position to practice majority rule in the nation without any other parties, and the SIIC is a natural ally even if the two have been rivals recently. Sunnis however, are concerned that a coalition of the two parties, both of which are close with neighboring Iran, would mean more Iranian influence over the nation’s politics.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.