Iraq’s Sunnis, Kurds Try to Persuade Sadr to Rejoin Political Process

Remaining blocs hold off on trying to shape post-Sadr government

Over the past week, key Shi’ite Moqtada al-Sadr had his entire bloc resign from parliament and announced he is stepping away from politics. Despite this, he continues to loom large and is driving the political process.

Whoever the Shi’ite ruling faction is, the Kurdish Democrats and the biggest Sunni Arab bloc will surely find a spot in the coalition. Those groups, however, are so far postponing talks on what to do post-Sadr.

That’s understandable, as Sadr’s huge number of followers are going to be aligned against anyone else who tries to rule, and this is going to be a rough path for anyone to go down.

Instead of heading down that path knowing what’s coming, those parties are scheduling talks to try to convince Sadr to change his mind and give the process more time. Sadr doesn’t want to have to ally with the rival Shi’ites, but had been unable to govern without them so far.

Any government without Sadr will be at a disadvantage, but it’s not clear how a government with Sadr could happen. While a fresh election might be a safer choice, even that is going to depend on convincing Sadr to participate, or at least not directly undermine the process.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of