Iraq Factions Are Still Short of Forming Government

Coalition seems impossible without new deal

Months after the October 10 Iraq election, the Sadrist movement’s effort to try to cobble a 73-seat plurality into a government of a 329-seat parliament are still well short of reality.

The best case right now is about 180 supporters, short of the 220 needed for the presidency to pass a vote. Boycotts have so far made voting all but impossible.

Another deal needs to be made to advance, but Sadr has ruled out partnering with the other Shi’ites, and those Shi’ites are constantly working to strip excess support from other parties.

Since the current election system was put in place, Iraq has repeatedly struggled to form governments, leaving Sadr trying to make something work while believing a Shi’ite coalition wouldn’t work.

The lack of resolution is keeping the government from acting on current issues, like skyrocketing food prices, since the caretaker government can’t propose draft laws.

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.