Sadr Rules Out Iraq Consensus Government; No Unity With Rival Shi’ite Blocs

Warns rivals are examples of 'corruption and vice'

Bids to form a new Iraqi government continue to fail, with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ruling out a consensus government with any of the rival Shi’ite blocs, and those blocs so far preventing him from forming a majority government with his chosen allies.

The Sadrist Movement has the largest plurality in Iraq from the October election, but still needs a substantial number of allies to form a majority. Sadr has courted the Kurdish Democrats, as well as a Sunni Arab bloc, as the core of that majority.

Rival Shi’ite faction State of Law has been courting the exact same factions to both try to prevent Sadr from governing, and to try to either piece together an alternative, or more likely, to try to force Sadr to let them into a grand coalition.

Sadr slammed the other Shi’ite factions, saying they are examples of the corruption and vice his party stands against. He also warned the public simply wouldn’t tolerate continued rule by the corrupt.

Sadr’s anti-corruption position has been popular with voters, but for a representational system of government, Iraq is a very difficult one to form majority governments in, which is why in the past either the United States or Iran stepped in as king-makers to work out hand-picked coalitions. Sadr’s interest in Iraqi autonomy means he isn’t a favorite of either side, and his plurality would make it hard for anyone to work around him.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.