Iraq’s Stalemate Risks New Intra-Shi’ite Clashes

Sadr rules out any consensus government

An October 10 election didn’t leave any obvious path to a majority government in Iraq, but the delays and stalemates that have resulted are starting to raise tensions and risk new intra-Shi’ite conflicts.

The Sadrist Trend won the plurality in October, for whatever good it does them. They’ve got allies among Sunni Arabs and Kurds as a path for trying to form a coalition, but that’s been resisted by a rival Shi’ite group, the State of Law, effectively blocking the Sadrist coalition and trying to force a unity deal.

Sadr is ruling out that idea, saying that he absolutely will not allow a return to a “consensus” government. Both sides say they won’t accept the other side’s position forever.

Sadr argues that the public, which voted for his bloc on a promise of independence, wouldn’t accept another corrupt consensus deal. The State of Law is aligned with a number of militias, and Iran, and is warning they are holding out for a seat at the table.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of