Sadr Won’t Form Iraqi Government With Maliki

Sadr faces uncertain path to forming a government

October 10th’s parliamentary election in Iraq went through a lot of disputes, but on Sunday thenew parliament will meet for the first time. This is going to start a lot of complicated maneuverings.

The first step will be for parliament to agree upon a new speaker and new president. Traditionally those are Sunni Arabs and Kurds, respectively, though neither is a strict requirement.

Once that’s done, the new president is to call on the largest party to try to form a majority government. No coalition deals are in place, and the party of Moqtada al-Sadr, with 73 seats, needs to put together 165 seats to form a majority.

That’s no small task in Iraq, which is heavily politically divided. Officials further added that Sadr has ruled out including former PM Nouri al-Maliki in the coalition, which leaves his 33 seats on the outside.

It isn’t a shock that Sadr and Maliki wouldn’t work together, as Maliki long had problems with Sadr when he governed. Maliki wanted a Shi’ite dominated government, while Sadr heavily advocates an independent, nationalist coalition.

Sadr is known to have talked with the Fatah Party, who offers 17 seats. Other big blocs of seats would be the Kurdish Democrats’ 31 seats, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s 19 seats, and the two big Sunni Arab blocs Taqadum and Azm, who have 37 and 34 seats, respectively.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.